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7 Cheap or FREE 4/20 Events in the Bay Area

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I’m one of those people who got my medical card my second week in SF.  I’ll never forget the dangly earring, nor the sparkly barrette, that my doctor wore as he very sternly asked me where I’d be going to get my prescription filled. I had no idea! I barely knew my ass from a hole in the ground and to be honest not much has changed. Anyhoodle, those are my qualifications for deciding which 4/20 events to hit up in the Bay Area. My sister who works at a dispensary would do a better job, but she still lives in D.C. so the task is upon the less stonery sister who is here.

4/20 is unofficial weed day, which according to legend, began right here in California after a group of very cool San Rafael High School students (who called themselves the Waldos) would meet to smoke weed right after school, eventually coming to refer to their gathering by the time it would commence: 4:20. So influential were the Waldos that by the early 1970s “420” had become slang for cannabis.

To celebrate these pioneering young Californians I’m seeing Nikki Glaser perform with one of my boyfriends.

1. Leafly Comedy Tour ft. Nikki Glaser (Early Show)

8:00 PM
1330 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115
You should come! But if that’s not your strain, here are some other great options for a cheap and wonderful 4/20.

2. 420 Celebration on Hippie Hill

Meet up with thousands of fellow stoners of all ages, genders, and races for drum circles, hooping, poi, and other kinds of outdoorsy fun.

In years past this wasn’t an official event, but with recreational pot legal in California, this year it’s so official all it needs is a whistle, with a permit from the city and sponsors and everything.

Bring your beverages of choice in plastic or metal containers (no glass bottles). Leave your coolers and boom boxes at home too.

10:30 am to dusk. Crowds peak at 4:20 pm
Golden Gate Park, Hippie Hill
All ages

3. $4.20 Food Truck Celebration


To celebrate 4/20, the Bay Area’s “most crave-worthy food trucks,” according to, will be serving munchies for $4.20 all day and into the night. Head here after Hippie Hill to get your drink on with $4.20 pints of craft beer and glasses of housemade sangria. For snacks, there will be $4.20 POTstickers from Go JoJo’s Mojo and $4.20 for a piece of Korean fried chicken, bone in or out, at Kokio Republic. Out is a chicken nugget though. Just sayin. And other things for $4.20 as well.

11am – 9pm
601 Mission Bay Boulevard North
All ages

4. Summer of Love art exhibit

summer of love 2

Thousands of young Americans flocked to Haight-Ashbury in 1967 to seek peace, love, and the Grateful Dead. See the rock posters, groovy clothes, iconic photos, and psychedelic light shows that marked the Summer of Love and celebrate the only city it could have happened in.

9:30am – 5:15pm
de Young Museum
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive San Francisco, CA
All ages

5. 2nd Annual 420 Community Gathering

hood incubator

The Hood Incubator, a nonprofit seeking to get more Black & Brown folks involved in the cannabis industry, a free BBQ and cannabis policy/industry update from The Hood Incubator Founders. The 2nd Annual Community Gathering is part of their effort to bring the community together over music, food, & cannabis. There will be a DJ, Arts & Craft corner, and live cypher ft. The Oakland Mind.

RSVP for location, Ticket-holders receive the location 48 hrs prior to 4/20
West Oakland
3:30pm – 7:00 pm
Donate what you can, $1+
VIP tickets $50

6. Bee-Kind Extracts’ Launch Party

bee kind

Humboldt County company Bee-Kind Extracts is hosting a launch party with DR. DIESEL, a never-before-seen duo made up of Allen Aucoin, drummer for the Disco Biscuits and Clay Parnell, bassist for Brothers Past and Particle. They will be joined by Tommy Odetto, featuring Thomas Pridgen.

4:20 PM Industry Happy Hour
Doors at 8
Show at 9:30 pm – 2:00 am
Boom Boom Room

7. Moonalice with Doobie Decibel System

Of course it wouldn’t be 4/20 without a jam band. To scratch that itch, consider Moonalice. The psychedelic, roots-rock band mixes a variety of genres with extended musical improvisations. They play mostly original material with a few covers mixed in.

Attendees at Moonalice shows are encouraged to dance and otherwise express themselves including through an original art poster created by a well-known artist memorializing every show and given to all attendees.

Their single “It’s 4:20 Somewhere” has been downloaded over 5 million times. To get a better picture, check out the just-released short film about the the Moonalice posters and poster artists: 420 Gathering of the Tribe by Jay Blakesberg and Alex Fischer.

7:00 PM
All ages

These last two aren’t cheap but they aren’t hella expensive either and look cool:

*Katchafire – 20 year Anniversary Tour 420 Show


Coffee and donuts, rum and Coke, weed and reggae. Catch the all-Maori Reggae band and global roots reggae phenomenon Katchafire on their 20 Year Anniversary Legacy Tour on 4/20.

Thu, Apr 20, 2017, 8:00 PM –
Fri, Apr 21, 2017, 2:00 AM PDT
The New Parish
1743 San Pablo Avenue
Oakland, CA 94612
$35, $40 at the door



If reggae isn’t your jam, but old-school hip hop is, consider a Bay Cruise with a boat full of 420-friendly people. Dance to DjSlappy Joe and enjoy two floors, two bars, drink specials, and a smoke deck with a beautiful view.

You can buy tickets at the door if any are left. Don’t bring outside food or alcohol but do bring smoke for the deck (not indoor though).

Meet up at Jack London Square Pier, diagonally across from Plank’s, next to Scotts Seafood Restaurant.
7:30 PM to 9:30 PM

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Bougie-Ass Cathy

Bougie-Ass Cathy

Cathy Reisenwitz is a SF-based writer with a focus on sex, politics, and technology. She is Editor-in-Chief of Sex and the State.