Earlier this month, The Conservatory of Flowers hosted its very first “After-Hours” event featuring the musical stylings of hometown bands Extra Classic and Heron Oblivion. Nestled in the idyllic setting of SF’s Golden Gate Park, the antique Victorian greenhouse displaying a vast collection of rare and exotic plant life has captivated audiences since its opening in 1879. One of the city’s most aesthetic tourist attractions, this gem in Golden Gate Park typically is only open to the public from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday or during private events. So, to have been able to spend an evening viewing upcoming local talent in such a gorgeous setting was something truly extraordinary.
Approaching the venue, guests waded their way through a beautifully eerie fog that settled into the meadow leading up to the conservatory’s entrance. A sight to behold, the illuminated structure glowed atop its elevated paddock off of John F. Kennedy Drive. The crowd bustled with excitement as fans entered into the delicate ecosystem and were greeted by a funk and soul vinyl set spun by DJ Don’t Tell Your Mom. Sprawling throughout the lush collection of high and lowland tropics, craft cocktail bars and local brewers showcased their small batch libations alongside whimsical pools in the aquatic plants gallery and the miniature Garden Railway: 1915 Pan Pacific special exhibit currently on display.
Guests were free to roam the premises for a majority of the evening and quite charmingly were reminded of the set times about five minutes before each performance by the conservatory’s staff members sauntering through the greenhouse. Extra Classic and Heron Oblivion each played their sets in what otherwise would be the orchid showcase area, directly positioned in the back of the building. Highly intimate and surrounded by Golden Gate Park’s beauty in the evening hours, both local bands brought their own unique blend of cultural influences and musical amalgamations to the stage. Extra Classic’s dub-infused, retro soul paired with Heron Oblivion’s psychedelic-folk rock further heightened the surreal ambiance of the evening as they kept the crowd dancing.
All proceeds from the sold-out event went directly toward the preservation of the historic landmark and the maintenance of its exotic plant life. There’s been no official word yet on whether the Conservatory of Flowers “After-Hours” program will continue, but judging from the success of its debut, we’re very optimistic.