2016 marks the tenth year of the Bay Bridged, and all along the way we have been pleased to be at the forefront of our local music scene. Thanks to our viewers support, we have striven each year to bring you the latest news and releases of all things music in the Bay. While we take pride in our writers and staff that provide a collection of stories and interviews from some of our favorite bands, we’re also immensely proud of the events we’ve hosted over the last 10 years. With that in mind, here’s a little refresher of some of our favorite moments in Bay Bridged history.
Bay Area Takeover 2008
Starting off our list is the first ever Bay Area Takeover at SXSW in Austin, Texas way back in 2008. This event, which was presented by The Bay Bridged as well as local record label Tricycle Records, showcased the Bay Area’s best that attended SXSW.
“The event was the brainchild of The Bay Bridged and Tricycle Records. We actually came up with the concept together. We wanted to take a piece of the Bay Area music scene to SXSW. We are really tapping into the DIY ethic in the indie scene, by organizing trades with ad sponsors, rather than relying on corporate sponsorship money.” said Julie Schuchard, co-founder of Tricycle Records — a label that only works with Bay Area based artists similar to the Bay Bridged.
The event took place at the now closed Beauty Bar in Austin with notable acts such as Social Studies, Two Gallants, and Von Iva. The Bay Area Takeover was held annually until 2010, and served as the Bay Bridged’s stepping stone into future event organizing.
Regional Bias 2009
In 2009, The Bay Bridged introduced Regional Bias: A Celebration of Bay Area Music and Culture, which took place at San Francisco’s Verdi Club on July 31, featuring four of the Bay’s most talented bands including French Miami and Or, the Whale. The event also showcased San Francisco’s unique visual artwork and food, with all proceeds from ticket sales benefiting The Bay Bridged.
Throughout the night, DJs John Vanderslice and Joshua Rampage (formerly of Maus Haus) spun sets in between band performances. Rampage recalls that night back in 2009, a memory of a good time that has lasted through the years:
“It was my first time at the Verdi club and reminded me of an old dance hall replete with wooden benches lining the walls. John Vanderslice and I would be DJing between bands. although I had never met him, he greeted me with a huge hug like we’d been friends for years and told me he’d already rifled through all my records and loved them, playfully threatening to steal the ones he liked most. I think John played like two records the whole night, he was too busy flitting around the room rubbing elbows with everyone like he does. Love that guy.
All the bands brought their noise, mainly Or, the Whale and French Miami. On a sentimental note, a babe who ended up being my girlfriend for two years showed up and woo’d me with a mix tape she’d made tucked in a shiny and sparkly jewel case. We danced all night and then after the show we wandered through the MUNI bus yard without getting arrested.”
Regional Bias continued to be held annually at the Verdi Club until its final year in 2011.
Rock Make Music Festival 2008
In 2008, the Bay Bridged announced the first Rock Make Music Festival, a free, all-day local music and crafts street fair in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District.
This free and unique bloc party festival collided the Bay Area’s art and music scene head on, truly embracing the D.I.Y. spirit. Along with about fifty local independent arts and crafts vendors, the festival boasted two indie rock stages featuring bands such as Tartufi and Trainwreck Riders.
Brian Gorman of Tartufi shared one of his more hysterical memories of the show over seven years ago:
“My favorite memory of the years at the festival was at the very end of one of the days my bandmate Lynne and I were pushing port-a-potties down the street to be picked up by the rental company. It was after dark and we were exhausted after having not slept the night before, working all day, playing a show, having a few beers, and then doing the final clean up shift. The last plastic turd house felt exceptionally heavy. It was a larger, handicapped model so we chalked the extra weight up to that and our fatigue. We pushed it 10 feet or so and then when it hit a curb the thing flipped back and almost tipped over. We caught it at the last second and reset it before it spilled out on to the street.
There was a group of people who had attended the festival watching us and giving us the stink eye as we were moving this toilet. Being tired and not in the mood for passive aggressive, hipster judgment, I was about to confront them with a, “Do you have a fucking problem? We’ve been here working for 14 hours straight to put this show on for you and your friends…” Before I could say anything the door to the port-a-potty that we had almost flipped over opened up and one of their friends popped out of the can. He was confused and seemed frightened, as if we were intentionally trying to mess with him — which we of course we were not. We apologized saying that we had no idea he was in there but I don’t think he believed us.”
The Rock Make Festival continued to be held annually until 2013.
Phono Del Sol 2013
Beginning in 2011, Phono del Sol started out with only five bands, one stage, and five food trucks in Potrero del Sol Park. Presented by The Bay Bridged, with assistance from Tiny Telephone, Phono del Sol still managed to attract about 1000 guests to its first showing.
Over the years, the festival has expanded and grown due to it’s popularity, with a consensus finding 2013 the most notorious year in the festival’s history. That year marked the appearance of Thee Oh Sees and the unforgettable moment when they invited the crowd on stage.
Gabriel Armstrong, a sound technician at the festival that year, recounts his moment re-meeting John Dwyer of Thee Oh Sees when he was put on the spot by the charismatic singer.
“I like that John Dwyer is such a character, everyone wants to hang out with him. While we were all B.S.ing, the man himself came up to us with hi-fives and said,“Do I know you?” right to me. “Yep bro, I worked at Twelve Galaxies and mixed the coach whips and mixed you with Oh Sees twice since then at…”. “Oh yeah, you old school.”
So hours pass and Thee Oh Sees get up on stage, and on like song three JD says over the PA, “Listen guys, our sound guy today, he’s OG and ladies, unlike most sound guys he’s a real looker.” I nearly died. Oh to be John Dwyer.
Phono del Sol has since continued its success into 2016, and hopes to bring new and exciting memorable times to remember.
On behalf of the Bay Bridged as well as our local artists, thank you for your continued support. We are looking forward to creating even more events for all your musical tastes.