Culture Collide, the self-described “international, multicultural melting pot of music, culinary, and the art of travel,” is now in the fifth year of its flagship LA festival, and it now treks north to San Francisco for its first annual NorCal event on October 14 and 15. The SF edition of Culture Collide will feature independent acts from countries around the world, including the US, UK, Australia, Peru, Mexico, Israel, Jordan, and many, many more.
Founded by Filter Magazine co-founder Alan Miller, Culture Collide provides independent music fans a unique peak into other countries’ music scenes and an entree into the plethora of quality tunes being pumped out by bands around the globe. Featuring shows at four Mission-based venues (The Chapel, Elbo Room, Mission Workshop, and Amnesia), the event will also include a “creative summit” at West of Pecos. The festival’s full schedule was announced last week, and some of our local (read: American) favorites have headlining spots, including Cloud Nothings and Clay Your Hands Say Yeah playing the respective nights at The Chapel.
Miller recently took the time to answer a handful of our questions about Culture Collide and its first venture into San Francisco. Below, read his thoughts on choosing the festival’s locale and venues, as well as selecting the lineup, and then get your tickets to Culture Collide San Francisco here.
The Bay Bridged: Culture Collide is entering its fifth year in Los Angeles, and the festival has since expanded to New York and Chicago before setting up shop this year in San Francisco. Why was the decision made to make the Bay Area Culture Collide’s next frontier?
Alan Miller: It was two-fold. Our goal is to give the international artists as many great opportunities as possible when they make the trek over. SF is such an a amazing music city. People are really open to a festival about discovery.
TBB: You’ve chosen the Mission as the epicenter of Culture Collide San Francisco, with shows happening at several different venues including The Chapel, Elbo Room, and Amnesia, among others. Why did you choose the Mission, as opposed to, say, Oakland, and what was the reasoning behind the venue selections?
AM: It’s really important that we host the festival in an area with a high concentration of venues so its all walkable. The goal is for music fans to walk back and forth and check out as many different bands as possible each evening. The Mission has all of that plus the best concentration of amazing burritos.
TBB: While there are plenty of bands from the States and Europe, the lineup includes many bands from countries that most Americans probably didn’t even realize had thriving music scenes – bands that music fans here likely would never encounter if it wasn’t for your festival. How do you and your staff go about selecting the bands that play Culture Collide?
AM: That’s the really fun part. It’s so rewarding to stumble onto a great band in a faraway land. People here don’t know the indie rock scene in Warsaw is thriving. It’s great to bring some of that to the US.
TBB: If someone was completely unfamiliar with the international acts playing Culture Collide, who would you name as some of your must-sees during the festival?
AM: There is so much to choose from. I’m personally excited for Solander (Sweden), Go Back to the Zoo (Netherlands), and KAMP (Poland).
TBB: The promotional material calls the festival a “2-day creative summit with keynote innovators panel.” What else can music fans expect a Culture Collide San Francisco other than loads great music?
AM: The 2-day creative summit will be held at West of Pecos. There will be panels about music and tech/brands as well as tastings of beer, spirits, and maybe even some snacks. The creative summit is free attend for all SF musicians. Additionally Israel and other counties will be hosting happy hours that will have hosted food and drinks from their country.