The Biggest & Best 2022 Summer Events in Downtown San Diego

Make plans now for the 4th of July, Pride, Comic-Con, Rady Shell shows, a Motley Crue mega-concert and Padres-vs-Dodgers baseball.

June is here, heralding in the area’s busiest, most active season of the year. All kinds of big-ticket summer events are set to arrive in downtown San Diego.

Get ready for fireworks–both on the Fourth of July and at the headbanging Stadium Tour headlined by Mötley Crüe.

Whether you aim to ogle superheroes, celebrate gay pride or root for the San Diego Padres, here’s a roundup of the summer of ’22’s biggest and best events.

Big Bay Boom

The Big Bay Boom, circa 2019. (Getty Images)

July 4. Downtown’s annual Fourth of July fireworks display reportedly draws hundreds of thousands of ooh-ers and aah-ers to bayfront watch spots. The Big Bay Boom show is a coordinated effort synchronized from four floating barges in San Diego Bay: Shelter Island, Harbor Island, North Embarcadero and South Embarcadero. Word to the wise: Plan ahead. After the show ends, Seaport Village becomes a churning sea of humanity. Harbor Drive is temporarily lost to gridlock. Consider public transportation to and from downtown. More info: Big Bay Boom.

Pride Celebration

The Pride Parade fills the streets of Hillcrest. (Facebook)

July 16-17. June is Pride Month but San Diego’s Pride Festival kicks into high gear mid-July. The July 16 Pride Parade in Hillcrest is likely to attract a quarter of a million colorfully clad supporters of the LGBTQ community. The two-day Pride Festival (July 16-17) is lining up 100 entertainers to perform on four stages in Balboa Park. The list of affiliated activities is long, and includes a 5K Walk/Run, a Motorcycle Contingent, Military Contingent, Youth Zone and a Leather Realm. More info: SD Pride.


A Deadpool cosplayer poses at the San Diego Convention Center. (Getty Images)

July 21-24. The summer cavalcade of superheroes returns to the San Diego Convention Center for the first time since 2019. (Yes, a smaller, Special Edition landed here last November.) Expect downtown to be happily overrun by Spiderman, Dead Pool, Wonder Woman and every cosplay character in the galaxy with a show, series or niche following. More than 130,000 tickets are long sold out. No matter, come witness the spectacle as it spills out into the streets of the Gaslamp Quarter. More info: Comic-Con.

Rady Shell Concerts

The illuminated Rady Shell at Jacobs Park on its opening night. (Getty Images)

August 2, 14 and 15. Launched in the summer of 2021, the Rady Shell at Jacobs Park has rapidly built a reputation as a world-class outdoor music venue. This state-of-the-art, architectural wonder is set on Embarcadero Marina Park South and is the summer home of the San Diego Symphony. The Shell is hosting pop concerts, too. Here are three recommended shows with tickets still available: Cheryl Crow (she wants to have some fun on August 2), Trombone Shorty’s VooDoo Threauxdown (August 14), and Robert Plant + Alison Krauss: Raising the Roof Tour (August 15). More info: Rady Shell.

Mötley Crüe Stadium Tour

Mötley Crüe and friends come to town on August 28. (Getty Images)

August 28. This twice-rescheduled, heavy-metal-stars-of-yore concert features an all-star lineup. The head banging takes place at Petco Park. Led by Vince Neil and Tommy Lee, The Crüe are kickstarting everybody’s heart and headlining this North American tour-de-force. The pyrotechnics will rock into the night as Def Leppard, Poison and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts take turns on the stage. More info: Mötley Crüe.

Padres vs. Dodgers

The Padres’ Austin Nola knocks the game-winning hit against the Dodgers on April 23, 2022, at Petco Park. (Getty Images)

September 9-11 and 27-29. Nothing’s a done deal…but forget last year’s on-field swoon and get ready for pre-playoff match-ups at Petco Park. As of June, the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers are fighting for supremacy in the National League West and the entire National League. Two three-game September series could likely play a key role in determining postseason positioning. With a (fingers crossed) healthy Fernando Tatís Jr. in the lineup, let’s practice chanting: Let’s go, Padres! Beat L.A.! More info: SD Padres. SDSun


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