“Bold, extreme theater”




Experience a weekend of fun April 21 -24 at ARTS DISTRICT Liberty Station where local, national and international artists come together to WOW you.

This year’s festival offers twenty-four events combining spectacle, dance, theatre, opera and circus performance. There are boundary-breaking world premieres and new works, from intimate one-on-one experiences to epic storytelling spectacle. Design your own WOW Festival experience – choose a relaxing full day of free performances at the Festival Hub, or an action packed day comprised of intimate, ticketed shows along with exciting spectacle performances. However you decide to spend your time with us, we hope you will come more than once and bring friends and family!


WOW Festival Hub

Join us on the North Promenade where you can find the WOW Festival Hub, a perfect central location to meet up with friends and family. The Festival Hub is outdoors and will feature a slate of free programming to enjoy all day. The Festival Hub will also feature a colorful custom stage designed by La Jolla Playhouse artisans that will allow for viewing from all sides, and a counter-style seating area for attendees to sit right at the foot of the stage.

Next to the Festival Hub, you’ll find galleries, restaurants, restrooms and The Public Market, where you can recharge in between shows. Many people like to enhance their festival outing by bringing a blanket or chairs to hang out on the lawn to watch and relax. There is ample, free parking near the Festival Hub and in the surrounding Liberty Station grounds.


WOW Family Zone

On Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, stop by the WOW Family Zone in the North Promenade for hands-on activities connected to WOW artists and performances. Join in creative projects for all ages including puppet building, hula hooping and umbrella making. Meet La Jolla Playhouse staff and learn about the fascinating jobs in the theatre off-stage in the costume shop, props department and scenic painting.


Military Family Day

On Saturday, April 23 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, join the Gary Sinise Foundation for cookies and resources for the families of active-duty military and veterans. Meet other military families while enjoying activities and entertainment in the Family Zone and Hub.


WOW Festival Tickets

We recommend looking at the daily schedules and festival map to plan your weekend if you are interested in attending multiple shows. It is helpful to make a reservation for free shows, even though no purchase is required, so that you can create your itinerary. For paid events, advance purchase is necessary. All paid tickets are $20. Many paid events have a small capacity, so order early to guarantee your spot. Take note of the show’s location and run time when reserving so that you can ensure you have time to travel between performances.

No hard tickets will be issued for the festival. Once you sign up for a free show or purchase a paid show, you will receive an email confirmation with your personal WOW schedule. Use your printed email confirmation for entry. All ages welcome. Free events are open entry.


COVID-19 Safety

The WOW Festival offers a mix of outdoor and indoor performances. COVID-19 Safety protocols for each show are based on whether the show is performed indoors or outdoors. Go to each show’s page to verify whether it is performed indoors or outdoors before making your reservations.

Indoor WOW Events

Masks are required. Prior to entering the performance or event space, all guests 5 years and up must show proof of full vaccination, along with photo ID. You may present your physical vaccination card, a photo of your vaccination card or QR code from medical provider or State of California’s Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record. Not fully vaccinated guests and children under 5 will need to show proof with of negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours of performance or event. Acceptable proof of a negative PCR test include test results with date or QR code from provider.
Wristbands will be provided for all patrons who have completed their vaccination / test status checked to allow entry in to multiple productions. However, patrons must secure a new wristband for each day they attend the WOW Festival. WOW wristbands will be issued at performance location check-in for indoor events. You may use the same wristband for any indoor shows you attend on the same day.
Food and drinks must be enjoyed outdoors and will not be permitted inside events. Select performances may offer food and/or drinks as part of their performance. Masks may be removed when actively eating or drinking in those productions.
Outdoor WOW Events
Masks are optional. No proof of vaccination or negative test is required for outdoor WOW events.
WOW Event Staff
All WOW Event staff are fully vaccinated and boosted. Event staff will wear masks for all indoor events.


What is Without Walls?

Without Walls (WOW) productions offer a dizzying array of interactive and site-inspired theatre. Full of diverse offerings, WOW shows have one thing in common – they are an invitation to reimagine what theatre can be through intriguing and playful experiences.

WOW performances take place outside the confines of a traditional theatre, in unusual or unexpected locations. Past shows have occurred in the backseat of a car, on a basketball court and even emerging from the ocean at a local beach. WOW audiences can expect to be part of the action. You might find yourself in the middle of an impromptu dance party or taking a stroll through a lush botanical garden as your WOW experience unfolds.

Since its inception, Without Walls has become one of San Diego’s most popular and acclaimed performance series, delighting critics and audiences alike.


About La Jolla Playhouse

La Jolla Playhouse is a place where artists and audiences come together to create what’s new and next in the American theatre, from the WOW Festival, to Tony Award-winning productions, to imaginative programs for young audiences. Founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, the Playhouse is currently led by Tony Award winner Christopher Ashley, the Rich Family Artistic Director of La Jolla Playhouse, and Managing Director Debby Buchholz. The Playhouse is internationally renowned for the development of new plays and musicals, including mounting 102 world premieres, commissioning 52 new works, and sending 32 productions to Broadway – including the currently-running hit musical Come From Away – garnering a total of 38 Tony Awards, as well as the 1993 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional TheatreLaJollaPlayhouse.org.


About ARTS DISTRICT Liberty Station

Liberty Station is where San Diego lives. It’s the place where artists can showcase their craft in either art, performance, design, fashion, culinary deliciousness, and even beer. It is a hub for growth, innovation, and inspiration promoting connection, creativity and community. https://libertystation.com/directory/arts-district


Quotes from Previous WOW Festivals:

“The city is the stage”

San Diego Magazine

“Coolest thing happening in town”

San Diego CityBeat

“You’re part of the experience. What you do matters”

The Rich Family Artistic Director Christopher Ashley in The Wall Street Journal

“When theatre is this memorable and fun, who needs air conditioning or gloves?”

 American Theatre Magazine

La Jolla Playhouse’s festival charms with its site-specific and roaming works”

Los Angeles Times