The Bay Area’s 420 Event Guide
This year, Californians will light up on 4/20 under the most lax marijuana laws since before 1913, when cannabis was made illegal.
The Bay Area is a particularly noteworthy place to celebrate the unofficial holiday, as the whole “420 thing” can be traced to a group of high schoolers in Marin County who called themselves “Waldos” and coined the term in 1971.
And while going to Dolores Park and smoking with friends is always an option, there’s a lot of other things you can do this 4/20. Here are a few events that might help you get the party started.
At 9 p.m., Wednesday, April 19, at the Midway. $35-$110; themidwaysf.com
On April 19, 1943, Albert Hoffman, a chemist living in Switzerland, went for a bike ride — on acid. Because of this, April 19 is known as “Bicycle Day,” and its acolytes like to celebrate it as faithfully as possible. If that’s your bag, head over to the Midway for some super-psychedelic music by Bureau of Sabotage (featuring members of Dead & Co., Disco Biscuits, and Thievery Corporation) with art by Alex and Allyson Grey. The event also features a “215 section,” where Bay Area cannabis companies like Legion of Bloom, Emerald Essence, and Gold Seal hawk their medicinal wares.
At 8 p.m., Wednesday, April 19, at Punch Line. $18; punchlinecomedyclub.com
Smoking weed and going to a comedy show is a time-tested recipe for a good time. Do yourself a favor and head over to Punch Line for some weed-addled chuckling courtesy of stoner-comic Ngaio Bealum and other special guests. Bealum is an S.F. native who hosts the annual Cannabis Comedy Festival, writes a marijuana-focused column for the Sacramento News Review, and regularly hosts various High Times events.
BERNER’S “HIPPIE HILL” CONCERT
At 4:20 p.m., Thursday, April 20, at Bill Graham Civic Center Auditorium. $55-$59.50; apeconcerts.com
San Francisco rapper Berner, one of our city’s best known stoners, once again hosts “Hippie Hill” at Bill Graham. And there will be no shortage of ganja at this weed-friendly hip-hop event. This year, he’s bringing some of his buds, like Kevin Gates, Lil B, Young Dolph, and Kool John. If you’re looking for blunts and beats, this is the place to be.
SPECIAL SCREENING: THE GRATEFUL DEAD MOVIE
At 7 p.m., Thursday, April 20, Sundance Kabuki Theater. sundancecinemas.com. Also at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 20, at Century 9 San Francisco Centre and Daly City 20.
Forget taking bong hits and watching Half Baked for the hundredth time. If you’re in the market for a cinematic experience that pairs nicely with a solid buzz, go see The Grateful Dead Movie. Filmed in 1974 over a five-night run at the legendary Winterland Ballroom, it’s packed with awesome performances and killer behind-the-scenes footage. Bonus points if you eat acid at Bicycle Day, stay up all night, and do this the next day.
CANNACON SANTA ROSA
At 10 a.m., Thursday, April 20 – Saturday, April 22, at Sonoma County Events Center, 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. $40-$420; cannacon.org
Cannacon is like a home and garden expo for the cannabis industry. With a focus that’s more on the business and logistics side of the cannabis industry, this convention is a bit different from other cannabis-related events that revolve mostly around products. From grow equipment to packaging, nutrients to tax attorneys, this event has you covered.
420 REGGAE FESTIVAL
At 2:05 p.m., Friday, April 21 – Sunday, April 23, at Cow Palace. $50-$150; cowpalace.com.
While it doesn’t have the most imaginative name, this festival has a solid round-up of reggae artists that includes Collie Budz, Tribal Seeds, Kymani Marley, and half a dozen others. Weed-wise, there will be dispensaries and vendors (as well as lawyers offering legal advice).
…AND DON’T FORGET ABOUT HIPPIE HILL
All Day, Thursday, April 20, Golden Gate Park. Free
No 4/20 roundup would be complete without a shout out to one of the biggest annual public smoke-outs in the country (and perhaps the world). If you’re looking to get high in an extremely permissive environment and don’t have the funds to attend any of the other events, this one may be for you. Word to the wise: Take public transportation as thousands of people show up to this event each year. Also, please clean up after yourself — last year’s event produced 17,000 pounds of trash.