The Bay Area’s music festival mania is coming to Lake Merritt’s Children’s Fairyland, which will play host to a September nighttime festival called “Through the Looking Glass,” with the Sun Ra Arkestra and Oakland-based pop star Spellling.
The Oakland amusement park Children’s Fairyland will celebrate its 73rd anniversary this coming Labor Day weekend. But the normally-children’s park has previously crossed the rubicon of throwing events geared towards adults. Last December, they threw a Winterland for Grown-Ups event at which high-octane beverages were served, and in May of this year, the queer and drag performance festival Oaklash held its grand finale there.
Oakland’s historic amusement park, Children’s Fairyland, is set to play host to an eclectic after-hours music festival this fall. https://t.co/EGAU0tVoQt— San Francisco Chronicle (@sfchronicle) August 2, 2023
Now Children’s Fairyland is getting another event that is not for children. The Chronicle reports Fairyland will host a music festival featuring the Sun Ra Arkestra and Oakland vocalist Spellling on Saturday, September 16 (7-11 p.m.). The festival is called Through the Looking Glass, and organizers describe it as “a transcendent evening filled with magic and wonder, featuring avant-garde, experimental, and genre-pushing musicians and artists from the Bay Area and beyond.”
The Sun Ra Arkestra is the biggest national name on the bill (though they’ll obviously be performing without Sun Ra, who passed in 1993). The one-night festival is being promoted as “An Evening with Spellling & Friends,” a nod to Oakland pop vocalist Spellling, who’s released three critically acclaimed albums, and has a fourth album coming out later this month.
Rounding out the bill are New Age instrumentalist Laraaji, J-pop balladeer Sasami, ukelele player Molly Lucas, harpist and composer Nailah Hunter, Ugandan artist AroMa, composer Zachary James Watkins, and a DJ set from Fat Tony.
This is not a free show. Tickets are $70, and they go up to $85 on the day of the show. So if you’re a fan of the Sun Ra Arkestra or Spellling, you’ve got some incentive to not wait until the last minute.
Image: Children’s Fairyland via Yelp