Oakland Weekender

Published on November 30th, 2021

After a pandemic induced hiatus, music festivals are back.  The big boys of Coachella, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza have all had or are going to have their triumphant returns in 2022. But the smaller multi-artist music festival are also making a comeback. And the New Year will see a three day indiepop fest worth making a cross country trip for when Oakland Weekender makes its debut from January 6-8. The three night, eighteen act extravaganza is built around the artists of two acclaimed indie labels, Slumberland Records and Emotional Response Records.

“The idea first started circulating around late 2020 in a discussion about a possible Boyracer, Kids On A Crime Spree and Artsick tour, as all three bands share members and had forthcoming records on the horizon both on Slumberland and Emotional Response records,” explained Christina Riley one of the event organizers and performers with the bands Boyracer and Artsick. “As the discussion went on, we thought about how cool it would be to have a little festival in Oakland to celebrate both labels and the amazing indie bands they support. The Bay Area music scene is really booming lately, so it made a lot of sense to choose that location for the Weekender.”

The braintrust behind Oakland Weekender which included Michael Schulman from Slumberland, Stewart Anderson from Emotional Response, Mario Hernandez, and Riley, all wanted to take a bit of a different approach when filling the line-up eschewing the idea of headliners and openers. “We don’t want people to look at the first bands as any less important,” Riley said. “Honestly every band and each DJ, is a must see as they are all different and equally as great. It’s important the concertgoers get there when doors open to not miss the DJ’s and first bands. You miss out for sure if you show up late.”

Those familiar with the two labels behind Oakland Weekender are probably going to be most excited going into the event. Slumberland Records started out all the way back in 1989 as a collective between members of Washington DC area bands Velocity Girl, Big Jesus Trash Can/Whorl, Black Tambourine and Powderburns. By 1992 Michael Schulman became the driving force behind the label and moved operations to Berkeley, California. Over the course of three decades they’ve released records from some wonderful bands with a roster that has included Stereolab, Lilys and Kids on a Crime Spree.

Meanwhile, Emotional Response Records was created in 2013 as a means for Boyracer’s mastermind Stewart Anderson to release his music. The label name was meant to honor Anderson’s autistic daughter he explained in an interview with precisionpressing.com. “The term Emotional Response (ER) is used in the Autism community, referring to uncontrolled reactions, both good and bad. It seemed quite fitting at that point in my life.” Over the course of eight years the label has released 100 records from bands like the Sleaford Mods, Tape Waves, and of course Boyracer.

Boyracer  seems to be the link between all involved with Oakland Weekender. Anderson started that band in 1990 and Slumberland released their charmingly titled 1994 album ‘More Songs About Frustration and Self-Hate’. Boyracer was super prolific until taking a hiatus around a decade ago. With Riley joining the band they’ve returned to releasing large quantities of music including this year’s boisterously fun LP ‘Assuaged’.

Other bands of note on the bill include Tape Waves, a duo out of South Carolina who specialize in a dreamy kind of pop with danceable rhythms. Kids on a Crime Spree are a California band that have that fun and dangerous energy when garage rock meets bubblegum.  And then there’s Mick Trouble who does his best to emulate early ’80’s post-punk.  In other words it’s a diverse line-up. 

“I think the closeness of our community will make it extra special and the fact that we are celebrating two amazing record labels that have kept the scene going for many, many years by supporting great artists,” Riley said about how Oakland Weekender stands out from the glut of music fests that will hopefully reenter our lives. If that’s not enough to get people to buy tickets, they’re willing to throw in some free swag. “In addition, the bundle passes we have for sale include a super limited Buzzcocks cover cassette with tracks from all of the Oakland Weekender bands, along with t-shirt designed by Galine Tumasova.”

TICKETS available HERE! 

Thursday Jan 6th: DJ Jessica B, Chime School, Blues Lawyer, Lunchbox, Neutrals, The Reds, Pinks & Purples

Friday Jan 7th: DJ Poindexter, Peel Dream Magazine, Artsick, Kids on a Crime Spree, Jeanines, Seablite

Saturday Jan 8th: DJ Kid Frostbite, Tape Waves, Cindy, The Umbrellas, Mick Trouble, Boyracer

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