Seaport Sessions unveils monthly music and arts festival

Seaport Village has teamed up with Museum of Contemporary Arts San Diego to showcase local musicians, artists and food vendors.


Imagine going to Coachella every month for free ... right in your own backyard.

Alright, so Seaport Sessions, a new music and arts festival hosted by Seaport Village, isn’t on quite the same scale as Coachella. But the monthly event in downtown does let locals experience live concerts and art installations — without spending hundreds of dollars on a three-day festival pass, alcohol, travel and an Airbnb.

The San Diego festival is part of a recent effort from Seaport Village to highlight the local arts community. Last year alone, it launched a series of initiatives including a public podcast studio; Seaport Share, a collaborative space for businesses and organizations; and a weekly speaker and concert series coined Seaport Sessions. The latter has since rebranded to focus less on lectures and more on the music and arts community.

The new version of Seaport Sessions will be held on the third Thursday of every month from 5 to 8 p.m. — the same date and time at Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD)’s popular Downtown at Sundown.

The overlap with the museum’s after-hours arts event is not a result of poor planning. Seaport Village teamed up with MCASD to offer a dual arts experience; the three-hour window gives you access to a full evening of creative energy in downtown.

Downtown’s free shuttle service, FRED, takes you to and from both locations. (The service is usually only accessible through the Circuit app, but the download isn’t required during Seaport Sessions.)

A lineup of live bands, organized by Tim Mays and Eric Howath, will share the bill with various artists and galleries. Every month, artists-in-residence who have studios or exhibition spaces at Seaport Village (currently Kurosh Yahyai and Jose Venegas of Studio by the Bay/New Children’s Museum, as well as Griselda Rosas of Bread & Salt Gallery) will host open studio hours or hold workshops. La Bodega Gallery will display art installations on a rotating basis, while Studio Marisa offers a different art activity.

The first revamped Seaport Sessions will be held on Feb. 20, featuring music from alternative rock band The Frets and indie surf group MDRN HSTRY.

In addition to the recurring open studio hours, installations and workshops listed above, Jessica Ling Findley’s Ocean Optimism series — featuring 3D Plankton Theater, Plankton Tea House and Tiny Made Mighty sculpture — will be available to experience for February’s festival only.

To pair with the arts, Amplified Ale Works and Mike Hess Brewing will give away free craft beer samples, and drinks from Snake Oil Cocktail Company and San Pasqual Winery that are available for purchase. Plus, enjoy a meal from Born in Brooklyn, a San Diego food truck that focuses on East Coast flavors.

For updated details about each event, head to Seaport Village’s website at

5-8 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month, 809 West Harbor Drive, Seaport Village