San Francisco will throw-down a mad bash on Friday night to celebrate the 100th anniversary of City Hall. Civic Center Plaza will host a concert, light show and a circus-like routine as a radical departure from the usual political events.
Civic Center will host two stages of music from 6 to 11 p.m., curated by local musician Chuck Prophet.
“We’re going to turn some things upside down, turn some things sideways,” said Phophet ducking out of rehearsals this week. “Really it’s my kind of alternative history of San Francisco music through the decades.”
Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers will hold court on the rhythm and blues stage. Others scheduled to perform — Jello Biafra, Penelope Houston and Mark Kozelek. The concert will pay tribute to all the musical decades.
“I walked around Civic Center and I thought about it,” said Prophet who handpicked the acts. “Well, a hundred years of music is a lot to chew off.”
The event will also host a “silent disco” with streamed music, and DJ sets from nearly a dozen local DJs. The plaza will also be loaded with circus performers, a glowing sculpture garden and a burlesque revue.
City Hall opened in 1915, the same year as the Panama Pacific International Exposition, as a symbol of the city’s resurrection from the devastation of the 1906 earthquake and fire.
The Beaux Art domed building played theater to a century of history — including the 1978 assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. It was the site of House Un-American Activities hearings in the 1960s, in which police removed protesters from the building by turning hoses on them and dragging them down the grand staircase.
Longtime City Hall docent Ellen Schumer said the building’s grandeur lures visitors around the world, including about 38 wedding couples a day.
“It just feels like you’re coming to work in a palace,” Schumer said.
For the record, the official opening of City Hall took place in December of 2015, but hey, why let dates get in the way of a good party.
For more information visit sfcityhall100.com.