This week, the Bay Area is gearing up for the joyous occasion of Pride, and the numerous fun, often-free activities that accompany it. This week, those first activities begin, and exist in confluence with the Summer solstice on June 21, and the 50th anniversary celebration of the 1967 Summer of Love in which thousands of colorfully-clad, mostly-young people converged on the city for a massive celebration. This week, our picks are a mix of events surrounding these significant cultural powerhouses, along with a concert and film pick thrown in for style!
Thursday: A$AP Ferg at 1015 Folsom Street, San Francisco
It’s been almost four years since the Harlem rapper A$AP Ferg released his debut studio album, Trap Lord. And yet, songs from this album still find their way onto Spotfiy’s workout playlist — if you haven’t lifted weights or exercised intensely with your trap lord, are you really even working out? How do you know if you’re pushing yourself to the limit if you don’t have Fergivicious commanding you to “put in work”?
And if you are privy to his music, then it’s not be hard to imagine A$AP Ferg would be the perfect person to see live performing what Dan Buyanovsky at XXL labeled the rapper’s “hood anthems.” A$AP Ferg could be best described as having a theatrical sound, a style that almost makes you feel guilty for liking his music because of how absurd it can get. But guilt helps no one — skip the repetitive malaise of going to the gym and consider seeing A$AP Ferg live. The show is 21+ only.
Friday: Gay Pride Comedy Night at Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center
Bay Area comedian and comedy producer, Lisa Geduldig (of Kung Pao Kosher Comedy fame), brings together a varied group of East Bay-based queer comedians for Gay Pride Comedy Night at Ashkenaz!
Featuring Karen Ripley, Mimi Gonzalez, Sampson McCormick, Justin Lucas and Lisa Geduldig, the event is $15-$20 (guests choose how much they want to pay). Ripley began her comedy career in 1977 — the heyday of the LGBTQ+ comedy movement in San Francisco — and has performed at hundreds of Pride events over the years. McCormick has been named “One of the Funniest LGBT comics” by several publications, including Huffington Post and BuzzFeed, has appeared on MTV and VH1, and is soon releasing a Netflix documentary titled “A Tough Act To Follow.” The show is technically all-ages, but is recommended for teenagers and older.
Saturday: Baby Driver giveaway at Saturn Cafe
11:00 a.m. -1 p.m.
Edgar Wright (“Shaun of the Dead,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”) is quickly establishing himself as one of Hollywood’s most distinctive auteurs, and his new film “Baby Driver” is already being lauded by critics — including our very own film beat Harrison Tunggal. It’s a movie you don’t want to miss, but movies are expensive, which is why it’s lucky that some folks marketing the movie will be at Saturn Cafe in Berkeley from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. with lots of free movie merch — including free tickets to see the film. If 11 a.m. is too early (we know, it’s summer), they’ll also be giving away free coffee to the first 100 students who arrive with a valid student ID.
Sunday: Summer of Love in the Grove, Golden Gate Park
From noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, head down to the National AIDS Memorial Grove in Golden Gate Park for an afternoon of festivities for the 50th anniversary of the 1967 “Summer of Love.” The event will feature DJs setting the mood as you chill and jam out in lavender-tinted sunglasses. The grove will also be serving as a potluck — visitors are encouraged to bring food to share, but thanks to a donation from Rainbow Grocery, some fresh fruits and other light snacks will be provided free to the community. There will also be live performances, including one by Pride Honoree and rock ‘n’ roll legend Blackberry.
Wednesday: Grand Lighting and Surrealistic Summer Solstice Concert to Celebrate Summer of Love 50th
If you thought Christmas tree lightings were cool, then you’ll definitely want to stop by the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco on June 21 to watch as the conservatory is sent into a swirl of psychedelic color in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love. The light art installation was orchestrated by Ben Davis of Illuminate, the nonprofit arts group behind The Bay Lights, together with Obscura Digital. Beyond the lighting at 9:15 p.m., there is a free 4-hour music jam session from 6-10 p.m. featuring members of ALO, RatDog, Jefferson Airplane, The Mother Hips, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Tarnation, Katdelic, The Terrapin Family Band, New Monsoon, Moonalice and Lester Chambers of The Chambers Brothers. The event is free and open to all ages, but space will be limited — the event organizers recommend making a free reservation on the event’s Eventbrite page.