This weekend marks the first annual Oakland Popfest: four shows over three nights spotlighting indie pop bands from both sides of the Bay and a few out-of-towners that will surely shake things up and shake some hips.
Inspired by the Athens Popfest, founder Claude Cardenas plans to cultivate a weekend of twee indulgence for the Bay Area indie pop community. “We decided to do an Oakland Popfest after going to Athens Popfest in 2016 and seeing how they run things, and how Popfest should be an event and not a bunch of shows that feel disconnected. It really was an eye opener because I felt like I belonged in something for the first time in years,” Cardenas explains. “One thing I took away from Athens was that I could sit through a bill with 8 or 10 bands on it and I wouldn’t like all of them, but I really admired the way Mike Turner (Athens Popfest curator) would group bands together. I would just sit there and think, ‘Wow, he has good taste!'”
Not many fests can boast having Colleen Green and Dressy Bessy as headliners, and even fewer can proudly produce two full nights of only female-fronted groups. “I grew up on girl groups and I was raised in an area where not a lot of girls or women played music,” Cardenas recalls. “It was always dudes in flip-flops playing acoustic guitar and thinking they were interesting. Part of me always wanted to be involved with Ladyfest and I suppose I’m kind of a riot grrrl at heart.”
“I’m not sure if this is the year we will define what Oakland Popfest should be but our goal is to eventually create a place for pop kids to have fun and make friends. In the end we just want a place to hear music we wanna hear with friends.”
1-2-3-4 Go! will host an early Slumberland showcase featuring the Real Numbers, Terry Malts, and Kids on a Crime Spree. Los Angeles’ Tashaki Miyaki will close things out when they headline the Golden Bull later the evening with Lunchbox and the Plastic Shoelaces.
Pick up three-day passes here.