Cultural appropriation is pretty common at music festivals, where drunk people with disposable income gather to party in their most free-spirited-looking clothing. Two years ago at Outside Lands, I saw an especially egregious example: a blonde white girl wearing a Native American headdress, tribal print leggings, a bindi, and furry raver boots — a veritable melting pot of ethnic-inspired garments taken out of their cultural contexts and repurposed as "eccentric" festival fashion.
As I've mentioned in previous articles, with music festivals becoming increasingly mainstream, we find ourselves in the age of the Music Festival Industrial Complex — where tickets sell out before lineups are made public, and brands rake in huge profits each spring with festival-themed fashion lines. And, sociopolitical impacts notwithstanding, the commodification of the festival experience through events like Coachella and our own Outside Lands — with their high asking prices, huge lines for everything, and dearth of local talent — can make the festival experience just plain stressful and annoying if you're not jazzed about the majority of the lineup.
However, the Bay Area offers plenty of alternative options for daytime summer turn-ups, including lesser-known fests, outdoor concert series, and day parties. (To help you plan your warm-weather agenda, we've curated a roundup of our favorites — just check out the rest of this Music + Parties section).
And in the heart of Oakland, there's also Total Trash Productions and Burger Records' Burger Boogaloo.
Burger Records is synonymous with garage rock — a subgenre that has long dominated the Bay Area's guitar scene, with prominent artists such as Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall getting their start in San Francisco. So, it's no surprise that the Boogaloo, which takes place in Oakland's Mosswood Park on June 25 and 26, resonates with local fans who enjoy retro, lo-fi sounds with pop sensibilities, and performances with a raucous energy.
For the second year in row, countercultural icon, actor, and filmmaker John Waters (see photo) is hosting, and this year's lineup features prominent cult favorites: Shannon and the Clams, who have long been a cornerstone of Oakland's garage-pop scene, as well as Thee Oh Sees, alongside beloved singer-songwriter duo Terry & Louie, who started out as members of the celebrated power-pop band The Exploding Hearts.
San Francisco punk legends The Trashwomen are reuniting for the fest (fun fact: Elka Zolot, the guitarist of The Trashwomen, is the mother of Oakland rapper-deejay-videographer Kreayshawn), and Dead Kennedys bandleader Jello Biafra is deejaying. Other influential, local bands, such as Eighties legends The Mummies, are also not to be missed. If you're a punk and garage-pop fan, Boogaloo tickets are a worthy investment this year.