Cal Performances announces exclusive talk, performance by Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, special guests

Rachael Garner/File

As part of its ongoing efforts to bring awareness of Bay Area art and culture into the spotlight of student life, Cal Performances announced Tuesday the plans for its inaugural student-curated event, “Front Row with Lars Ulrich and Friends.”

The event will take place March 2 at Zellerbach Hall and will feature a live discussion from Ulrich, drummer of legendary heavy metal band Metallica, and performances alongside Ulrich’s hand-picked lineup of special guests. Among the confirmed guests are Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, founder and CEO of Salesforce Marc Benioff, co-founder of San Francisco-based design firm Turner Duckworth David Turner and Metallica guitarist and vocalist James Hetfield.

According to a press release from Cal Performances, the goal of the event is to “explore the San Francisco Bay Area’s attraction to artists and innovators.”

“The idea behind the event is to invite other Bay Area personalities, artists and creative people in the community to get together and perform and talk about what makes the San Francisco Bay Area such (an artistically) rich place to live,” said Louisa Spier, public relations manager at Cal Performances.

The upcoming event is the first of a proposed series of “Front Row” talks and performances, all of which are to be made easily accessible to students and feature relevant and influential guests from the Bay Area creative community.

As part of Cal Performances’ Berkeley Research and Development Initiative in Creativity, Arts and Learning, also known as Berkeley RADICAL, the “Front Row” series hopes to curate events in which the UC Berkeley student population can gain insight about the artistic processes of Bay Area creatives.

“With ‘Front Row,’ Cal Performances seeks to build bridges to the arriving generation through collaborative programs that engage current students in the curatorial process and in artistic practice,” said Rob Bailis, Cal Performances associate director and mentor for the student-curators of Cal Performances.

“Front Row with Lars Ulrich and Friends” is the inaugural event organized by the student-curators of Cal Performances, whose role in shaping and selecting guests for the event was integral to the development of “Front Row.”

“I feel very fortunate to work with such an incredible group of students and Cal Performance staff members on this show!” said Brent Freed, one of the student-curators, in a Facebook message. “It is unique, educational, and great for our school. We spent months as a group deciding our artists, and they are really excited to be coming.”

Tickets to “Front Row with Lars Ulrich and Friends” are $5 and only available to current UC Berkeley students, starting Feb. 16 at noon on the Cal Performances website.

Rosemarie Alejandrino is the arts & entertainment editor. Contact her at [email protected].