Bill Graham Civic Auditorium is a popular events arena that seats 7,000 people, most commonly known today for hosting live music. Get to know the building’s diverse history as the location of many prominent cultural events, having stood in San Francisco’s Civic Center neighborhood for just over a century.
The auditorium was built as part of the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition, designed in the Beaux Arts style by John Galen Howard, Frederick H. Meyer and John Reid, Jr. The building was constructed from stone and steel, standing four stories tall and spanning over 300,000 square feet. Originally dubbed the San Francisco Civic Auditorium, the building is one of the few structures from the exposition that still stands today. After the Exposition ended, the seventh largest pipe organ was moved into the auditorium, which, along with the San Francisco symphony orchestra, drew many visitors to the building and established its reputation as an important center for culture and live music.
Before long, live music became the most significant part of the auditorium’s history. A wide variety of acts of many different genres have performed there over the decades, including such famous musicians as The Grateful Dead, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Who, Janis Joplin, Big Brother & the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane, and Lady Gaga. In 1992, the building was officially renamed the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, after the death of the prominent music promoter Bill Graham, who has been credited with bringing much of the live music scene to San Francisco. Since 2010, the arena has been operated by Another Planet Entertainment.
In 1989, after damage caused by the Loma Prieta earthquake, the building was determined to need seismic retrofitting. The building closed down for close to two years for construction, including both earthquake safety and ADA upgrades, reopening in March 1996. Since then, the auditorium has hosted a plethora of concerts, corporate events, tradeshows, sporting events, and such events as the 2004 World Cyber Games.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.