Big news on the local music festival circuit: The legendary B-52s are delaying retirement to headline Mosswood Meltdown — the punk music festival in Oakland's Mosswood Park that used to be called Burger Boogaloo.
Born out of a group of young friends jamming one night in Athens, Georgia in 1976, the B-52s have had an unusually long life together as a band. Core members Cindy Wilson, Kate Pierson, and Fred Schneider all remain, and they spent the last year on a farewell tour — which concludes with a residency at the Venetian Theater in Las Vegas in April.
Other original members Keith Strickland and Ricky Wilson (Cindy's brother) were essential to creating the B-52s sound, but they lost Wilson to AIDS in 1985, and Strickland retired from touring in 2012.
As the SF Chronicle reports, the band last performed in the Bay Area in 2022, and Schneider said in a statement at the time that that might be their last show here. "No one likes to throw a party more than we do, but after almost a half-century on the road, it’s time for one last blow-out with our friends and family … our fans," Schneider said.
But last year, Wilson hinted to People Magazine that the band responsible for hits like "Private Idaho" and "Love Shack" might not be absolutely done after the Las Vegas residency.
"There's going to be other little things happening," Wilson said. “So we're not 100 percent gone. And you know it's more of an ending season. It's not going to be a hard date, but it's coming. There’ll still be things that come up. You'll hear about us."
Among those things coming up is a documentary that's been in the works, directed by Craig Johnson (The Skeleton Twins).
And they apparently couldn't resist a homegrown punk festival in Oakland that's MC'd by John Waters.
In a statement about his annual gig, Waters said, "It’s musical mayhem time for multiple maniacs in Oakland once again, and I’m proud to be hosting from the gutter for the tenth time!"
Waters will be joined ons stage this year by SF drag star Peaches Christ, and the Chronicle reports that this year's Mosswood Meltdown will feature a drag contest for the first time, judged by Peaches and Waters.
Other big acts include Big Freedia, Hunx & His Punx, Egyptian Lover, and power-pop act Redd Kross. And performing on the West Coast for the first time in 30 years will be Black proto-bunk band Pure Hell, who started in Philly.
Mosswood Meltdown takes place over two days, Saturday, July 6 and Sunday, July 7. General admission and VIP weekend passes are now on sale, for $139 and $279 respectively. Prices will rise as the festival gets closer to $199 and $399.
Top image: Cindy Wilson, Fred Schneider and Kate Pierson of The B-52's performs during day one of the Festival Corona Capital 2019 at Foro Sol on November 16, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Adrián Monroy/Medios y Media/Getty Images)