Women set to bring
the party to Oakland
by Heather Cassell
The fiveTen weekend event will kick off Oakland Pride starting Friday, August 31 and ending with a dance party on Sunday, September 2, the day of the Pride festival.
Headlining the fiveTen after-party is TheeSatisfaction, a soul funk lesbian duet out of Seattle, and local musician Valerie Troutt and her JazzSoul Trio.
This year marks fiveTen's second foray into Oakland during the Pride festivities. The daylong festival in the city's Uptown district attracts upwards of 50,000 people annually, according to Oakland Pride's website.
"We wanted to do something daring, something different, something out of the box," said Christine De La Rosa, co-producer of fiveTen and owner of promotion company Eden Pride Events.
FiveTen (the Oakland area code) is a mix of dance parties, brunch, live performances, and a bike ride. It's promoted by Eden Pride Events and produced by De La Rosa and Chaney Turner.
Unlike most of Eden Pride's events, which are geared toward women, this weekend's fiveTen parties, dances, and other activities are for everyone, organizers said.
De La Rosa, an out lesbian, is a 30-something new Oakland resident who arrived in the Bay Area from her home state of Texas four and a half years ago. Turner, 32, is an out lesbian and Oakland native who owns SocialLife, a promotion and event production company.
Last year fiveTen did a test after-party at Oakland Pride with MC Lyte that attracted 800 people, De La Rosa said. This year she anticipates upwards of 1,000 guests attending at least one of fiveTen's events throughout the weekend.
"Our vision of the weekend was to spotlight Oakland in the best way we know how. I've never seen so many different communities be so supportive of each other," De La Rosa said about Oakland's mishmash of ethnicities and gay and straight communities that come together. "You see everybody together and that's always been a vibe that I really love.
"We always talk about unity and pride and there is more than just gay Pride; there are people who are proud of their brothers and sisters who are gay, proud that they are allies of the community, there's a lot of different types of pride," she added.
The weekend kicks off Friday, August 31 with a Pride Bike Ride starting at 6:30 p.m. at the West Oakland BART and going to the first party at Disco Volente (347 14th Street) for Out All Night. There is no cost to participate in the bike ride. The other events have various admission costs, or people can buy a weekend pass for $50. Valet bike parking supported by Oakland Spokes will be available for all parties, the two women said.
Troutt wraps up a power packed lineup that includes Charito and FunkCh3n and Midnight in the Library, which will warm up the audience on the dance floor on Friday night, August 31.
TheeSatisfaction will make their last U.S. appearance before heading off to Australia and Barcelona on Sunday night, September 2 at New Parish, 579 18th Street.
DJs are definitely a part of the mix as eight of them will spin at the parties on Friday and Sunday nights after the live performances and at the Bottomless Beats brunch on Saturday, September 1 at Liege, 481 9th Street, where the mimosas will be poured non-stop.
It's going to be a "memorable and beautiful experience and something that [guests] will take with them," said Turner.
For more information, visit http://www.510oaklandpride.com.