fiveTEN Sounds Off on Oakland’s Diversity and Pride
Looking for a little funk, pop, soul and more fiveTEN Oakland Events is busting out celebrating Oakland’s diversity and pride with a wide arrange of events leading up to a huge music festival Aug. 30 – Sept. 1.
This year, the fiveTEN team is getting down with four diverse events throughout Oakland Pride Weekend featuring the Bay Area’s hottest emerging artists.
Headlining the weekend long party and music festival are Double Dutchess and The Memorials. They will be joined by seven amazing local performers Lila Rose, Aima the Dreamer, La Femmes Deadly Venom, Micah Tron, Billie Jr., Queens D. Light, and Zakiya Harris and Soul Nubian at the WERQ! Vogue Ball Aug. 31 and Sunday Music Fest and After-Pride Party Sept. 1.
DJs FFLood, Fusion, HeyLove, Lady Fingaz, Lady Ryan, Leydis, Motive, Pam the Funkstress, Treat U Nice, Trinity and Val G keep people hot and bothered on the dance floor in between the live music throughout the weekend at three different dance parties.
“It’s bound for an epic weekend event,” says Charleen Caabay, outreach director of fiveTEN Oakland Events. “Every year we always try to bring something different.”
Not Just Another Festival
Dissatisfied with the status quo after-Pride parties that have become standard after many Pride events around the San Francisco Bay Area, not to mention the world, Christine De La Rosa, better known as Miz Chris, producer, and Chaney Turner, entertainment director of fiveTEN, aimed for something higher, something more diverse, something different. They came up with the fiveTEN After-Pride Festival, a music festival highlighting local emerging talent.
“We didn’t really see the things that we were interested in seeing as far as what was going on and we wanted to do,” says Christine, who also is the producer of EDEN Pride Events.
EDEN promotes a variety of events for women and their friends around the San Francisco Bay Area, California and now the Pacific Northwest with the upcoming EDEN Pacific Northwest in partnership with PQ Monthly and The Seattle Lesbian.
“We wanted to do was something a little different,” continues Christine. “We wanted to have live performance. We wanted to still have dancing because dancing is a really big component in Oakland and the Bay Area in general.”
Lastly, they wanted to support emerging businesses that couldn’t afford booth space at Oakland Pride proper.
In 2011, fiveTEN launched with headliner rap artists MC Lyte to Oakland with three dance floors and a room for guests to peruse local vendors’ booths that turned out an estimated 800 attendees for one night only.
The fiveTEN team followed that up in 2012 with a weekend long festival with headliners THEESatisfaction, a soul funk lesbian duet out of Seattle, Wash., local musician Valerie Troutt, and her JazzSoul Trio, along with other entertainment, including a Pride Ride, with a small group of cyclists peddling around Oakland in Pride.
She estimates 1,425 guests turned out throughout the weekend, says Christine.
This year the fiveTEN Team, which includes Christine, Chaney, Charleen, and Terry Sok, logistics director; are stepping outside of their comfort zone, turning up the funk and pumping up their game to celebrate Oakland’s diversity and pride.
“This year we are doing three full blown events Friday, Saturday and Sunday all very different from each other,” says Christine, who hopes Oaklanders will enjoy what the weekend they have planned.
“You are not going to the same dance party on Friday, the same dance party on Saturday, or the same dance party on Sunday,” says Christine. “We really want to be diverse and have people have a different experience.”
Different It Will Be
The girls kick off the weekend with a little Vegas in the heart of Oakland with Casino Royal at The Den (1807 Telegraph Avenue, TheDenOakland.com). Vegas divas will be dealing out the cards, spinning the wheel and rolling the dice for a good time and a good cause. Some of the money from the event will benefit the EDEN LGBTQ Youth Foundation, which has already raised $10,000 in scholarships for LGBTQ youth and grants for organizations that work with queer youth this year.
The night will burn into the early morning hours with the Kick Off Dance Party.
On Saturday night attendees will battle it out at the WERQ! Vogue Ball vogueing, whacking and dancing for cash prizes and “ultimate vogueing supremacy,” according to the Facebook invite, before judges Aima, Brock Cocker, Krys Freeman and Soul Nubian at The New Parish (579 18th Street, 415-371-1631, TheNewParish.com).
Double Duchess will tease the crowd with its high-energy electro-pop performance after special guests Zakiya Harris and Rashad queer the runway.
Of course there will be music and dancing, two floors of it with six DJs grooving throughout the night into early Sunday morning.
Sunday is the big day with fiveTEN’s Music Fest and After-Pride Party following a day of festivities at Oakland Pride at the Oakland Metro Opera House (630 3rd Street, 510-763-1146, OaklandMetro.org).
Berkeley-based band, The Memorials, will rock the crowd hard as the festival’s headliner. Seven other bands will get audiences into the groove with a variety of electro-pop, rap and other sounds.
“We are highlighting a lot of different types of music and performances,” says Christine, about the music festival which will feature a main stage and two dance rooms: one for dance hits and the other for house and world music beats.
“Really, what we do is we like to create experiences for people not just parties,” says Christine, pointing out that this year’s artists stretch beyond mainstream dance hits, Top 40, Hip Hop, R&B, and rap.
Christine explained that when the fiveTEN team, in particular Chaney and she, began planning fiveTEN during Oakland Pride Weekend this year, they “wanted to pursue something different than anybody was doing,” she says.
“We felt that it was time for us to search ourselves,” says Christine. “Hopefully the community will follow with us and be as excited as we are.”
The other goal is to provide local bands with a platform to perform, she adds, talking about the limited types of venues and sound equipment that clip artists’ wings in their own back yard and deprive local audiences of experiencing them to the maximum.
“We want it to be a reflection of the community we see around us,” continues Christine.
“I think it’s a positive outlet for everybody in the community,” adds Charleen.
Considering the future of fiveTEN Oakland Events during Labor Day Weekend, Christine and her team have their eyes set on a target.
“I think that we can do a weeklong music festival and have hundreds of bands and hundreds of musicians from all over the world come and perform here,” says Christine. “I would really love for it to be that.”
Get the beat with fiveTENOaklandEvents.com. Weekend passes are $30. fiveTEN Music Fest VIP passes are $20. All other events tickets range $10 – $15.
Full Disclosure: Heather Cassell is the marketing and sponsorship director of EDEN Pride Events and fiveTEN Oakland Events.
To contract an original article, purchase reprints or become a media partner, contact editor [@] girlsthatroam [.] com.
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