San Diego’s top weekend events: Sept. 9-12

Audria Easterly

Here are the best events happening in San Diego from Thursday, Sept. 9 through Sunday, Sept. 12:

Thursday, Sept. 9

San Diego LGBTQ Film Festival

This 21st annual event, presented by Film Out San Diego, showcases a variety of features, documentaries, short films and international movies about the LGBTQ experience. The festival kicks off Thursday and goes through Sunday. MOPA, 1649 El Prado, Balboa Park. $12 to $20. See the complete schedule, including virtual screening details at

A scene from the movie "Everybody's Talking About Jamie."

A scene from the movie “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.”


“On Your Feet! The Musical”

Moonlight Stage Productions in Vista closes its outdoor summer season with this salsa-infused musical about Latin pop superstars Emilio and Gloria Estefan. The production features the Broadway national tour sets and costumes. 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. Brengle Terrace Park, 1200 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista. $17 to $59. (760) 724-2110.

halfalive at SOMA

Alternative/indie band half•alive performs on SOMA’s Sidestage. Indie-pop duo slenderbodies will open the show. Doors open at 7 p.m. and masks are required. SOMA San Diego, 3350 Sports Arena Blvd., Midway. Advance tickets are $25 online;

The Four-Eyed Horseman Tour at Casbah

Stop by the Casbah to experience The Four-Eyed Horseman Tour, featuring nerdcore rappers MC Lars, MC Frontalot, Mega Ran and Schäffer The Darklord. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. and show kicks off at 9:30 p.m. Vaccine verification or a negative COVID-19 PCR test, with masks recommended; check the website for the full policy. The Casbah, 2501 Kettner Blvd., Midtown. Excluding fees and taxes, tickets are $18 in advance or $20 day of;

Friday, Sept. 10

“The Gardens of Anuncia”

The Old Globe’s world premiere of Michael John LaChiusa’s musical opens Friday. It’s about a child ballerina being shaped from a young age to love art, music and storytelling by her mother, grandmother and aunt in Juan Peron’s Argentina. 7 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays; 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through Oct. 17. Old Globe Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, San Diego. $37 and up. (619) 234-5623.

San Diego Festival of the Arts

This weekend, San Diego Festival of the Arts is shaking things up with a new location and age requirement. The juried art show will feature work from 150 artists across various mediums. Each artist will have a socially-distanced booth and attendees — who now have to be 21 and up — will be able to browse and purchase from the displayed pieces. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Surf Sports Park, 14989 Via de la Valle, Del Mar. Prices start at $12, parking is $10;

David Falossi, a San Diego sculptor, with his piece titled "The Spirit Climb."

David Falossi, a San Diego sculptor, with his piece titled “The Spirit Climb.”

(Elena Falossi)

1812 Tchaikovsky Spectacular

This popular San Diego Symphony event spotlights more than the music of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The night of Russian favorites also features Dvorák’s “Carnival Overture” and Khachaturian’s “Masquerade Suite” among others. Of course, it all leads to Tchaikovsky’s rousing “1812 Overture,” led by conductor Yaniv Dinur. 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, 222 Marina Park Way, downtown. $25 to $95; (619) 235-0804.

“In the Balance” at New Children’s Museum

The New Children’s Museum unveils a play structure designed by artist Risa Puno that’s made up on an intricate path of balance beams. The idea is that when the paths intersect, it reminds us to consider our shared experience with others. Ribbon cutting is at 9 a.m. Friday. Museum Park, 200 W. Island Ave., downtown. Free; details.

Saturday, Sept. 11

San Diego Spirits Festival

This cocktail event showcases the latest in dining and drinking trends. Try new concoctions, buy cool things for your home bar and try bites from local restaurants at this mega-popular festival that also features Samba dancers and live music. 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Port Pavilion Broadway Pier, 1000 North Harbor Drive, downtown. $25 to $125;

A man and two women at the San Diego Spirits Festival

Guests at the San Diego Spirits Festival raised a glass to cocktail tastings, live music, panels and more at Broadway Pier on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019.

(Jared Gase/ )

San Diego Blues Festival

The Blues Festival is back as an in-person event and will feature Larkin Poe, Rick Estrin & the Nightcats, Aki Kumar’s Bollywood Blues, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Nikki Hill and many more. Proceeds for the all-ages event benefit the San Diego Food Bank. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. Embarcadero Marina Park North, 400 Kettner Blvd., downtown. $40 to $350;

Slightly Stoopid

The Ocean Beach band returns for its first “traditional concert performance” in over two years. The show happens at Petco Park’s Sycuan Stage along with openers Thievery Corporation, Don Carlos & The Dub Vision Band, and The Elovaters. 3 p.m. Saturday. Petco Park, 100 Park Blvd., downtown. $60 to $260; find tickets.

Mainly Mozart All-Star Orchestra Festival

This weeklong festival boasts that it has the “largest gathering of concertmasters and principal players in North America.” And Mainly Mozart proves that claim right from the start: the opening night concert features saxophone star Branford Marsalis in a night that commemorates the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Concerts are 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Sept. 17 and 18. Surf Cup Sports Park, 14989 Via de la Valle, Del Mar. Tickets start at $49; (619) 239-0100.

Classic Albums Live: “The Dark Side of the Moon”

Classic Albums Live is a band that performs the music from favorite albums. Pink Floyd’s 1973 iconic “The Dark Side of the Moon” will be re-created, and will feature songs like “Money” and “Us and Them.” After the intermission, hits from other Pink Floyd albums will be performed. 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, 222 Marina Park Way, downtown. $25 to $95; (619) 235-0804.

Drug Hunt at Soda Bar

Enjoy a night of music from San Diego-based acts, including headliner Drug Hunt and opener Belladon. Doors for the Soda Bar show open at 8:30 p.m. Masks are required, along with vaccine verification or negative COVID-19 PCR test; check the website for the full policy. Soda Bar, 3615 El Cajon Blvd., Normal Heights. Tickets are available through the app DICE for $12.55;

Sylvan Esso at SOMA

Electronic pop duo Sylvan Esso will take to the SOMA Mainstage for its San Diego stop of Shaking Out the Numb Tour, named after Sylvan Esso’s six-episode podcast released November 2020. Doors open at 7 p.m. and singer-songwriter Samia will be the evening’s opener. Masks are required, along with vaccine verification or negative COVID-19 PCR test; check the website for the full policy. SOMA San Diego, 3350 Sports Arena Blvd., Midway. Advance tickets are $35 online;

Boots in the Park is a country music festival at Waterfront Park.

Boots in the Park is a country music festival at Waterfront Park.

(Miguel Lizarraga

Boots in the Park

Boots in the Park is a good, ol’ fashioned country music festival happening this weekend at Waterfront Park. The all-day event features performances from country powerhouses like headliner John Pardi, plus Mitchell Tenpenny, Matt Stell, Leaving Austin and Michael Austin. 1 to 10 p.m. Saturday at Waterfront Park. Tickets are $125 for GA; $199 for VIP;

Vinny Fasline

Vinny Fasline has toured with high-profile comics like Dane Cook, Nick Swardson, Michael Rappaport, Drew Lynch and more. He’s headlining this show at the Laugh Factory San Diego. 8 p.m. Saturday. $25. Visit for tickets.

PAWS4Thought 5th Anniversary Paw-ty and Fundraiser

PAWS4Thoughts, a San Diego non-profit, celebrates its 5th anniversary with this “paw-ty” and fundraiser. Tickets for this dog-and-family-friendly event will include gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, courtesy of Grater Grilled Cheese, a pint of beer or soft drink of choice, one entry for door prizes and one “Bark Bag” for your pup. 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Second Chance Beer Company, 15378 Avenue of Science, #222, Carmel Mountain Ranch. Tickets are $20;

Sunday, Sept. 12

Helen Woodward Animal Center’s Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon

Why, yes, of course San Diego dogs surf. You can watch over 70 of them battling it out on the waves for the title of Best in Surf and Top Dog at this popular fundraiser for Helen Woodward Animal Center. Dogs will be judged on the length of their ride, wave technique, enthusiasm and confidence on the board … though we will also silently judge them on cuteness. 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Del Mar Dog Beach ($20 parking is at Border Avenue and Via de la Valle). Free;

Dog surfing

(Courtesy of Helen Woodward Animal Center)

Harvest for Hope

The Emilio Nares Foundation’s twelfth annual “Harvest for Hope” fundraiser to support families with children battling cancer features dishes from many popular restaurants: Coasterra, Crust Pizzeria, Great Maple, Solare Ristorante and Sushi on a Roll among many others. 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Coasterra, 880 Harbor Island Drive, Harbor Island. General admission tickets are $150;

Maluma at Pechanga

Columbian singer-songwriter Maluma, aka Juan Luis Londoño Arias, will perform a show at Pechanga Arena as part of his Papi Juancho Tour. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. All ages are welcome. The venue follows all state and local COVID-19 health and safety requirements, so be sure to go online and confirm the updated policy at time of the show. Pechanga Arena, 3500 Sports Arena Blvd., Midway. Tickets start at $31 and parking is $25;

Classic Albums Live: “Abbey Road”

Classic Albums Live returns to perform “Abbey Road,” The Beatles’ final studio album. After the intermission, hits from other Beatles records will be featured. 7:30 p.m. Sunday. The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, 222 Marina Park Way, downtown. $25 to $95; (619) 235-0804.

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