October arts, music, events calendar

Hello fall! Time to prepare for things like layering up, cozying next to our TV and consuming pumpkin everything (is it Thanksgiving yet?). While it may be tempting to shrug off plans and binge watch that Netflix show instead, don’t miss out on the variety of activities the Bay has to offer. Get an adrenaline rush running in one of the area’s 5Ks, or indulge in some beer at one of the upcoming Oktoberfests. Catch a famous speaker at one of this month’s unique festivals or see powerful classical music come to life. The options don’t end there, so get your fall gear on and have fun exploring!

Oakland Art Murmur (Oct. 5)

Oakland Art Murmur (OAM) is a nonprofit that has connected thousands of artists to over a million visitors through its various local programs. Two of its most famous programs are the “First Friday Art Walk” and “Saturday Stroll.” First Friday Art Walks are held every first Friday of the month, so this month it will fall on Oct. 5. OAM Galleries across Oakland are open from 6 to 9pm, rain or shine. For Saturday Stroll, OAM member galleries are collectively open from 1 to 5pm every Saturday. During Saturday Stroll many galleries hold artists talks, receptions, film screenings and more. You can find OAM’s list of venues here. Admission to both events are free.

Berkeleyside Uncharted (Oct. 5-6) at Downtown Berkeley

Unscripted. Unpredictable. Uncharted. Visitors to “Uncharted” will get to experience a two-day festival of ideas featuring one-on-one conversations, live performances, elective workshops and food and drinks. The festival is centered around the belief that the most intriguing ideas and solutions emerge from the collision of different visions and perspectives. Berkeleyside is Berkeley’s independently owned local news site, and it founded the Uncharted festival in 2013. The festival’s sixth year will include conversations such as conservative feminism, eloquent black rage, the rent (and house prices) is too damn high and how hip-hop became America. Some speakers who will be present are Pulitzer-prize winning playwright Ayad Akhtar, Senator Scott Wiener and ESPN’s Danyel Smith.

Tickets range from $120-$220, and can be bought online. The program runs each day from 9am to 5pm. Take BART to Downtown Berkeley and walk 3 minutes to either Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse or Berkeley Repertory Theatre, depending on which activity you attend.

Photo courtesy of Cal Shakes.

black odyssey (Ends Oct. 7) at Orinda

Gulf War veteran Ulysses Lincoln struggles to get back home to his wife, Nella, and son, Malachi, after being lost at sea and presumed dead. Along his way, a host of Gods control his fate — Deus, Paw Sidin and Aunt Tina. The Gods force Ulysses to confront his ancestral past, to therefore embrace his present. Come see Ulysses' journey on stage at Cal Shakes. Oakland-native Marcus Gardley's "black odyssey" combines Greek mythology and African-American folklore, and is a new take on Homer's classic. It's back by popular demand for a special limited engagement at the Bruns. Tickets range from $27-$60 and can be bought online. Take BART to Orinda and catch the free shuttle to the Cal Shakes Bruns Amphitheater.

First Sundays (Oct. 7) at Civic Center/UN Plaza

The Civic Center Commons hosts weekend block parties on every first Sunday until Nov. 4. Visitors can enjoy food, recreational activities, an open-air bazaar and more. Off the Grid will curate a selection of street foods and Bonneville San Francisco KMVQ 99.7 FM will provide the tunes. The open-air bazaar will feature one-of-a-kind goods created by local SF Etsy artisans, and there will be an area for arts and crafts. On Oct. 7 there will be free roller-skating with Church of 8 Wheels, mini pumpkin decorating for the first 300 guests, DIY crochet and knitting, and more. Admission is free. The event is from 11am to 3pm and will be located on Fulton Street between the Asian Art Museum and San Francisco Main Public Library. Take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and walk 5 minutes to the Fulton Street.

Photo of a Litquake event in San Francisco. Courtesy of Litquake’s Facebook page.

Litquake SF (Oct. 11-20) at various BARTable locations

One of the West Coast’s most beloved literary festivals is right here in San Francisco. The festival is celebrating its 19th year and will hold events at 160 venues across the city. Booklovers of all ages and backgrounds get to enjoy words and ideas — straight from artists’ mouths — during this ten-day gathering. Some authors include Michael Chabon, Amy Tan and Alice Sebold. Litquake’s mission is to contribute to the creative community and increase the amount of literature available to all readers through providing performances, readings, workshops and film programs during its festival and also year-round. Admission prices and hours vary with each event; check website for more details.

Oktoberfest (Oct. 12-13) at Concord

The Brewing Network, Visit Concord and the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce are coming together to present the Concord Oktoberfest — a day of live music, singing and dancing, strongman contests, food trucks, a kid’s area, and of course, beer! Craft beer fans can rest assured; there will be German-style lagers from 20 breweries. An Oktoberfest beer pass includes a .5 liter commemorative glass stein and two full beers. The “Food Truck Alley” will have local food vendors serving traditional Bavarian food. This family-friendly community event is free, with food, drinks and activities available for purchase. Friday’s hours are 6 to 9pm, and Saturday’s are noon to 6pm. Take BART to Concord and walk 8 minutes to the event.

Women Laughing Alone With Salad (Oct. 12-Nov. 11) at Ashby

If you've seen the meme or, even if you haven't, now you can see it live.  Inspired by the internet meme with the same name "Women Laughing Alone With Salad" makes its way to The Ashby Stage performed by The Shotgun Players, Oct 12-Nov 11.  The production explores gender stereotypes, relationships, and sexism, with a healthy side of humor and mixed greens.  Don't miss the raw, rule-breaking take on our image-obsessed culture in this feminist comedy where everyone is about to get tossed!

Photo courtesy of Ashland Cherryland FamFest.

Ashland Cherryland FamFest (Oct. 13) at Bay Fair

The 4th annual Ashland Cherryland FamFest is a fun-filled day of activities, games, food and a 5K run/walk/roll! FamFest is returning this year to build civic pride, provide a vast array of resources for the community, and spread some fun. Ashland Cherryland Healthy Communities Collaborative is organizing the event, and Alameda County is hosting it. Some activities include the 5K, boxing, soccer, health screenings, collaborative artwork, face painting and a helicopter landing. The Bite Cafe will provide food options, so bring your wallet! Tickets range from $1-$14 and can be bought online. Take BART to Bayfair and walk 18 minutes to 16335 E. 14th St. in Ashland.

DC Wonder Woman 5K + 10K (Oct. 13) at 12th St. Oakland City Center

If you love Wonder Woman, or just want to feel like a superhero for a day, then register for the DC Wonder Woman 5K or 10K happening in Oakland! Runners will receive a race kit (which includes tanks, accessories, etc.) an inaugural DC Wonder Woman Run finisher’s medal, a commemorative race bib and chip timing, complimentary race photos, a post race party and more. Start time is at 5pm. Tickets range from $59-$79 and can be bought online. Take BART to 12th St. Oakland City Center and walk 1 minute to Oakland City Hall.

Treasure Island Music Festival (Oct. 13-14) at West Oakland

With headliners Tame Impala, A$AP Rocky and others, the concert venue has changed but the event remains the same!  Middle Harbor Shoreline Park will provide festival goers access to one of the most unique festival backdrops in the world, offering panoramic views of the Bay, downtown San Francisco and the Bay Bridge. You can expect a music-filled weekend with a top-rated lineup and enjoy an ever-changing, diverse mix of interactive art installations, roaming performers, and some of the best cuisine in the Bay Area.  Take BART to West Oakland station and access the Free Shuttle into the park. Click here for full details. Noise Pop + Another Planet Entertainment Present.

Photo courtesy of Save the Redwoods League.

Stand for the Redwoods Festival (Oct. 14) at Montgomery Street or Powell Street (photo)

The Stand for the Redwoods Festival marks the end of Save the Redwoods League’s Centennial Celebration Week, which honors 100 years of redwoods conservation. There will be live music, activities and a Sierra Nevada Brewery beer garden. Come join people from all around the Bay Area to celebrate the conservation of redwoods and caring for their future. Artists on the lineup include Nahko, Ron Artis III & The Truth, and Jazz Mafia. Admission is free, and the event runs from 12:30pm to 4:30pm. Take BART to Montgomery Street or Powell Street and walk 10 minutes to the gardens at 750 Howard St.

Sunday Streets Excelsior (Oct. 14) at Civic Center/UN Plaza

Sunday Streets transforms one to four miles of normally congested streets into car-free spaces where kids can play and adults can stroll and mingle. There are often activities for visitors to do as well. On Oct. 14, Sunday Streets will have its last event of the year in the Excelsior, San Francisco’s most diverse community. Visitors can try one of the area’s nearby eateries — ranging from Mexican, Thai, Korean and old-school Italian — and also enjoy local landmarks like the Central Drug Store and nearby McLaren Park.

The event is from 11am to 4pm and admission is free. Ride BART to Balboa Park or Glen Park. The Balboa Park station is about a 10 minute walk from the southern end of the Sunday Streets route, while the Glen Park station is about a 10 minute walk from the northern end of the route.

BART Plaza Opening Celebration (Oct. 18) at Downtown Berkeley

The new BART Plaza and main entrance finally opens on Thursday, October 18. Berkeley Mayor Arreguín will lead a ribbon cutting at 4pm, followed by the unveiling of Michael Christian’s “Home” sculpture accompanied by the Berkeley Symphony, followed by the premiere presentation of the new immersive sound art composition by Chris Brown and an evening of live music at the Berkeley LIVE! stage. The opening kicks off a weekend celebration and ongoing programming in the new plaza.
 

Third Thursdays (Oct. 18) at Civic Center/UN Plaza

Did you know the Civic Center Commons has hosted monthly block parties every third Thursday throughout summer? The last one of the year will be held on Oct. 18. It’s a chance to hang out by Civic Center and grab food and drinks from Off the Grid, listen to music curated by Another Planet Entertainment and play games for all ages such as “beach” volleyball, corn hole, giant chess and more. Katie Cash and The Dirty will be headlining the last Third Thursday of 2018. Admission is free and the event runs from 5 to 9pm. Take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and walk 5 minutes to Civic Center Plaza.

Photo courtesy of Walnut Creek Downtown’s website.

Oktoberfest (Oct. 20)
at Walnut Creek

For those who didn’t get a ticket to Oktoberfest in Germany, don’t fret. Walnut Creek will have its 4th annual Oktoberfest at Civic Park on Oct. 20. The 16.7 acre park will be transformed into an epic Oktoberfest celebration, filled with a biergarten, microbrews, gourmet food, live music, autobahn, kids zone, and over 40 vendors. Dirndl dresses and lederhosen are encouraged, but not mandatory! Admission is free and the event runs from 11am to 6pm. Take BART to Walnut Creek and hop on the free trolley to Civic Park.

Photo of Elliott Carter, courtesy of San Francisco Contemporary Music Players.

San Francisco Contemporary Music Players “Carter and Beyond” (Oct. 20) at Civic Center/UN Plaza

Get 20% tickets just for being a BARTable fan. 

Elliott Carter was one of the most famous American composers from the 20th century, and his compositions are known and performed throughout the world. The San Francisco Contemporary Music Players are celebrating him in a season-opening concert. The ensemble will be welcoming its newly arrived artistic director, Eric Dudley, with a program featuring three of Carter’s works, including the powerful Penthode for 20 players. Tickets range from $15-$35 and can be bought online (get a 20% off code here). Take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and walk 11 minutes to Taube Atrium Theater.

The Cat in the Hat/ El Gato Ensombrerado (Ends Nov. 4) at Downtown Berkeley

The Cat in the Hat's outrageous antics and Dr. Seuss's wondrous rhymes are being brought to life in both English and Spanish at The Osher Studio. Guests can expect to see a brother, a sister, a much put-upon goldfish, some Things and tons of clowning around in this new production of Seuss’s classic tale. Recommended for ages 3 to 12. Tickets range from $17-$28 and can be bought online (psst - get 10% off tickets here). Take BART to Downtown Berkeley and walk 2 minutes to Bay Area Children's Theatre Osher Studio.

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