fiveTEN Shows Pride in Oakland

Aug 31, 2012 by

fiveTEN Shows Pride in Oakland

by Heather Cassell

Showing pride in Oakland, two producers kick off Oakland Pride weekend with the launch of fiveTEN, a host of events throughout the weekend, starting today Friday, August 31 and ending with a dance party on Sunday, September 2, that aim to go beyond LGBT Pride celebrating the East Bay city.

Headlining the weekend is THEESatisfaction, a soul funk lesbian duet out of Seattle, Washington, and local musician Valerie Troutt and her JazzSoul Trio.

This year marks fiveTEN’s launch into Oakland’s first weekend-long event during Oakland Pride, which attracts upwards of more than 50,000 people annually, according to the event’s website.

“We wanted to do something daring, something different, something out of the box,” says Christine De La Rosa, co-producer of fiveTEN.

Last year’s fiveTEN Oakland Pride after party with rapper MC Lyte attracted 800 guests, she says. This year the promoters anticipate upwards of 1,000 guests attending at least one of the fiveTEN events throughout the weekend.

Christine, a 30-something freshly minted Oakland resident arrived in the Bay Area from her home state of Texas four and a half years ago, and began promoting parties throughout the Bay Area forming Eden Pride Events, formerly Movement Productions/Eden in the Bay. Her co-producer of the weekend even is Chaney Turner, a 32-year old Oakland native who owns SocialLife, a promotion and event production company in Oakland.

Eden Pride Events signature all-woman weekends at Bay Area Pride events, such as Eden during San Francisco Pride Weekend in June, produced with local promoters has breathed live back into the San Francisco Bay Area’s lesbian nightlife.

Eden Pride Events also produces Bliss Weekend in Palm Springs, which is on hiatus this year, she says.

fiveTEN promoters Chaney Turner, forefront, and Christine De La Rosa, a.k.a. Miz Chris, foreground (Photo: Courtesy of Eden Pride Events/fiveTEN)

fiveTEN promoters Chaney Turner, forefront, and Christine De La Rosa, a.k.a. Miz Chris, foreground (Photo: Courtesy of Eden Pride Events/fiveTEN)

fiveTEN diverts from Christine’s signature all-women parties showcasing Chaney and Christine’s love for Oakland by celebrating the city that is the two lesbian’s heart and soul.

“Our vision of the weekend was to spotlight Oakland in the best way we know how,” says Christine.

The string of events throughout the weekend has a distinctly Oakland vibe and feel making it more than simply a gay Pride event, but pride in Oakland the city itself and welcomes everyone to join in the festivities.

“I’ve never seen so many different communities be so supportive of each other,” Christine continues talking excitedly about Oakland’s mishmash of ethnicities and gay and straight communities that come together in harmony. “You see everybody together and that’s always been a vibe that I really love.”

“We always talk about unity and pride and there is more than just gay Pride there are people who are proud of their brothers and sisters who are gay, proud that they are allies of the community, there’s a lot of different types of Pride,” she continues.

The two women’s goal is to contribute to making Oakland Pride a destination celebration like San Francisco Pride across the bay.

“This city the city is cool,” says Christine about the city that has the highest lesbian population per capita and was recently made the top 10 cities travelers should visit. “The city itself is very amazing and got so much heart. There is really a great vibe, but a lot of people don’t know that yet.”

Getting down in the 510

The weekend kicks off Friday, August 31 with a Pride Bike Ride that starts at 6:30 p.m. at the West Oakland BART and peddles to the first party at Disco Volente (347 14th Street) for Out All Night. There is no cost to participate in the bike ride. The other events have various admission costs, or people can buy a weekend pass for $50. Valet bike parking supported by Oakland Spokes will be available for all parties, the two women say.

“I thought that would be something that is really cool,” says chaney, an avid cyclist who will head up the Pride Bike Ride with Binx Garage, a new womancentric cycling garage and group in Berkeley and Oakland.

The Pride Bike Ride is only one way the weekend’s events step away from the usual line up of DJ led string of parties that mark many weekend-long gay events, especially Pride. Instead, the spotlight is on local and West Coast talent and local passions.

Troutt wraps up a power packed lineup that includes Charito + FunkCh3n and Midnight in the Library which will warm up the audience on the dance floor on Friday night.

THEESatisfaction will make their last U.S. appearance before heading off to Australia and Spain on Sunday night, September 2 at the New Parish (579 18th Street).

DJs are definitely still a part of the mix. Eight DJs will spin at the parties throughout the weekend after the seven live acts lined perform.

Guests will be able to relax and enjoy Saturday morning into the afternoon at Bottomless Beats brunch where the mimosas will be poured non-stop and nine-year old DJ Young 1 will spin the hits alongside DJ Sake-1.

It’s going to be a “memorable and beautiful experience and something that [guests] will take with them,” says Chaney.

“It’s going to be a fun weekend,” agrees Christine.

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A version of this article originally appeared in the Bay Area Reporter.