August arts, music, events calendar
This August is one for festivals of all kinds — for bicyclists, for art or wine enthusiasts, for those who are interested in different Asian foods and cultures. Or if the day is too hot, spend it indoors reimagining yourself at the Exploratorium exhibit Self, Made, revisiting Andy Warhol’s work at SFMOMA or learning about the history of the transcontinental railroad through photographs at the California Historical Society.
Photo courtesy Pedalfest.
Pedalfest (Aug. 3) at 12th Street Oakland/City Center
For bike enthusiasts and the bike-curious, this festival is a celebration of everything cycling. There will be events like bicycle stunt shows and unicycle lessons, and some events unique to this festival, like stationary biking to power the festival’s sound stage! Take a spin on the water in an amphibious bike race or take the kids to the bike decorating stations to pimp their rides — this festival has a variety of bike activities for all ages. Take BART to 12th Street/Oakland City Center and walk 12 minutes to Jack London Square.
Concord Jazz Festival (Aug. 3) at Concord
This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Concord Jazz Festival, which began at a city park in 1969 and gave birth to the Concord Jazz label. Featured artists include Grammy Award-winning singer Patti Austin in The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra, Dave Koz & Friends Summer Horns and Chick Corea Spanish Heart Band. There will also be performances by emerging jazz artists, an Art & Wine Expo and several vendors on the grounds of the 12,500-seat Concord Pavilion. Tickets range from $39.50 to $149.50, and every pair purchased includes a commemorative album of music by the featured artists. Take BART to Concord, and take the the free shuttle from the station directly to Concord Pavilion.
Fremont Festival of the Arts (Aug. 3-4) at Fremont
Looking for a one-of-a-kind piece to complete your home furniture? Or a bottle of wine for a special occasion? Or just a good summer day full of live music and beautiful art? All these things can be found at Fremont’s 36th Festival of the Arts! This festival attracts about 400,000 people every year, and has over 500 arts and craft booths, not to mention the various food trucks, performers and rides and games. Admission is free — it’s the largest free street festival west of the Mississippi! Take BART to Fremont and walk about 10 minutes to the festival.
Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival (Aug. 9-11) at 24th St. Mission
The seventh annual Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival brings together Deaf and Hard of Hearing artists from all over the world for a weekend of performances and workshops. Performances are August 9 and 10 at 7:30, and tickets can be purchased online. A family friendly matinee with a slightly different program is on August 11 at 2pm.
There are dance workshops throughout the day on August 7 at the Deaf Community Center for a variety of dance genres, including jazz, hip-hop, ballet and ASL dance. More workshops are available during the week — details can be found on the Real Urban Jazz Dance website. A Meet the Artists Brunch and Panel is on August 10 at 11am, and there is a suggested donation of $5 to attend.
Take BART to 24th St. Mission and walk 1 minute to Dance Mission Theatre.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Jorgensen.
This year’s headliners include Paul Simon, Childish Gambino and Twenty-One Pilots. In addition to the musical performances, The Barbary will host comedy shows by Tony Danza, Mike Birbiglia, Jimmy O. Yang and others, and food and drink abound at Wine Lands, Beer Lands and Cheese Lands. GastroMagic pairs chefs and artists for a compound experience, and art is on display throughout the festival grounds.
There are single-day and 3-day tickets available, which are available to purchase online. Single day tickets are $185, and a 3-day ticket is $385. Take BART to Civic Center / UN Plaza, transfer to the SF Muni outbound N Judah, ride to 34th and Judah and walk two blocks north to Golden Gate Park. Alternatively, ride BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza, transfer to the Muni 5 Fulton at McAllister and Jones outbound to 25th and Fulton.
Photo courtesy the FAAE.
Pistahan Parade & Festival (Aug. 10-11) at Powell
Experience a bit of the Philippines without the 14-hour flight! Pistahan, which means “festival” in Tagalog, is the largest celebration of Filipino Americans in the U.S. The celebration kicks off with a parade Saturday morning, along Market Street towards 4th Street. The parade is followed by two days of live performances, cooking competitions, martial arts workshops and so much more. There are seven pavilions, for showcases of dance, art, innovation, health, sports, culinary arts and leadership. There will also be four food contests! Admission is free. For the parade, take BART to Civic Center / UN Plaza. Take BART to Powell and walk 4 minutes to Yerba Buena Gardens for the festival.
Hairspray (ends Aug. 11) at 16th St. Mission
The sixties are back, and Baltimore teen Tracy Turnblad wants nothing more than to dance on the “Corny Collins Show.” In the process, she manages to dethrone the reigning Teen Queen, win the affections of heartthrob Link Larkin and integrate a TV network. Bay Area Musicals closes their fourth season with this fun and catchy musical, which runs until August. Take BART to 16th St. Mission, which is less than a minute walk to the Victoria Theatre.
Tattoos in Japanese Prints (ends Aug. 18) at Civic Center/UN Plaza
From ink on paper to ink on skin — the tattoos on characters in Japanese woodblock prints have influenced real-life tattoo trends. More than 60 prints by Utagawa Kuniyoshi and others are on display at the Asian Art Museum, illustrating how large-scale, densely composed pictorial tattoos emerged in 19th-century Japan in tandem with woodblock prints depicting tattooed heroes of history and myth. Tickets can be bought online. Take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and walk 5 minutes to the Asian Art Museum.
The Flick (Aug. 22 - Sept. 22) at Ashby
2014 Pulitzer Prize winner “The Flick” serves up a slice of Americana, following the lives of three employees at a movie palace who explore race, class and the universal quest for intimacy. The New York Times hails it as “Funny, heartbreaking, sly and unblinking.” Run time is almost three hours, with a 10-minute intermission. Previews begin August 22, and the play officially opens August 29, and runs until September 22. Tickets can be purchased online, and range from $25 to $37, while the previews are pay-what-you-can. Take BART to Ashby and walk 3 minutes to The Ashby Stage.
Oakland Chinatown StreetFest (Aug. 24 & 25) at 12th Street/Oakland City Center
The 32nd annual Chinatown StreetFest spans eight blocks of Chinatown with more than 200 booths showcasing a myriad of delicious foods and unique Asian products. Come and experience the traditions that Oakland’s Chinatown has diligently preserved. There will be arts and crafts, live music, cultural entertainment and attractions for families and children. The event is free and lasts all weekend. Take BART to 12th Street/Oakland City Center and walk 3 minutes to 11th and Harrison Streets.
Exploratorium: "Self, Made” (ends Sept. 2) at Embarcadero
The Exploratorium is full of interactive exhibits, and Self, Made proves to be just as bold and playful with dozens of new interactive exhibits, artifacts and artworks, including the costumes worn by Shuri and T’Challa in Marvel’s Black Panther and work by Kehinde Wiley, the painter of the official White House portrait of Barack Obama. Take BART to Embarcadero and walk 15 minutes to the Exploratorium.
Andy Warhol — from A to B and Back Again (ends Sept. 2) at Montgomery Street
Brightly colored screen prints of Campbell’s soup and Marilyn Monroe are only a few works by one of America’s most iconic artists, Andy Warhol. This Warhol retrospective is the first organized in the U.S. since 1989 and occupies three full floors of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, including a dozen works unique to the museum. Tickets can be bought online. Take BART to Montgomery and walk 6 minutes to SFMOMA.
California Historical Society Exhibitions (ends Sept. 8) at Montgomery
Mark Ruwedel: Westward the Course of Empire is a collection of photos by Rudwedel that chronicle the fates of abandoned or incomplete rail lines as they fight with nature and alter the landscape. The exhibit Overland to California: Commemorating the Transcontinental Railroad explores how rail access to California stimulated population and industry growth, as well as its reputation as a tourist destination and a land of opportunity. The gallery is closed Mondays, and admission ranges from $5 to $10. Take BART to Montgomery and walk three minutes to 678 Mission St.
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