How Weird Street Faire ready to blast off again 

click to enlarge How Weird Street Faire
  • courtesy photo
  • This year, San Francisco’s How Weird Street Faire, an electronic music and arts festival, will have 13 stages.
That Ewok rave at the end of “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi” is going to seem puny and downright tame compared to the roughly 20,000 freaky Wookies, Capt. Kirks., Grey Men and even East Bay residents at the outer space-themed How Weird Street Faire.

The event, near Howard and Second streets Sunday, is much more than your run-of-the-mill, close-the-street-and-eat-waffle-cones neighborhood street fair.

How Weird is a 13-stage electronic music and arts festival at ground zero of Earth’s technology revolution — The City’s South of Market district. Space-themed costumes are mandatory at the free ($10 suggested donation), all-ages event, which is bigger and better than ever, says stage director Justin Weiner.

How Weird 2014 is physically bigger, with more stages, he said. “It’s become such a big attraction that we wanted to double its size. We were hoping to expand more than we were able to.”

The 14-year-old festival is maintained by the tiny, nonprofit World Peace Through Technology Organization and deploys some world-class soundsystems, including three Void Systems and a Funktion-One.

Faire organizers went through about 100 stage applications before green-lighting The City’s best party promoters, including Symbiosis Gathering, Opel, Opulent Temple, Pink Mammoth, Temple Nightclub, SWAG and others.

Enchanted Forest, Muti Music and Northern Nights present Uranus-The Super Stage of Bass. The people behind the Symbiosis Gathering will offer Spacebiosis. Pink Mammoth and SF House Music will fire up their Mothership of House.

And 15-year-old online radio institution SomaFM debuts Space Station SOMA, a chill, ambient counterpoint to all the booming bass. The stage harks back to the Internet radio station’s 1999 launch on the Burning Man playa, says SomaFM founder Rusty Hodge.

“Instead of a chill room we’ll have a chill alley,” he says. “I’m definitely excited about exposing SomaFM to a lot of people who haven’t heard of us.”

For 2014, How Weird Street Faire also introduces the first National Dance Week stage, which will showcase global styles, along with free dance lessons throughout the day to loosen up neophytes.

The massively popular Art Alley on Tehama Street also grows this year, while the number of vendors in general shrinks for space to to accomodate two main foodcourts: The Mos Eisley Foodcourt, The Foodcourt at the End of the Universe.

“It’s going to be an amazing year,” Weiner says.


How Weird Street Faire

Where: Howard and Second streets, S.F.

When: Noon to 8 p.m. Sunday

Tickets: $10 suggested donation




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