The annual Hiero Day festival begins September 3. Credit: Courtesy of Hiero Day

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Because of the ongoing spread of the delta variant, lots more events are being postponed or canceled, like Oakland Chinatown’s 33rd Streetfest, which was supposed to happen this weekend. In a statement, organizers said the recent rise in COVID cases played a role in their decision. In addition, the upcoming Indigenous Red Market, which takes place in Fruitvale, is also off for now. “It is best to postpone large gatherings until a safer time for all, especially since the Indigenous Red Market is an event attended by elders, young people, and families with children,” read a statement from organizers. 

Due to the pandemic, we will continue highlighting only outdoor (and some virtual) events. If there’s an event you think we should feature, email me at azucena@oaklandside.org, or fill out the form at the bottom of this page.

We also welcome your feedback. Are you enjoying this weekly roundup? Let us know.

Hiero Day

Since 2012, Hiero Day has become an integral part of Oakland’s arts and culture scene. It began as a way to pay homage to Hieroglyphics’ music. This year, the fest spreads over three days, with some events taking place outdoors and others with limited capacity indoors. There’s going to be a listening party to check out new and unreleased tracks by the Hiero crew at the Moxy hotel. There’s also an outdoor event on 13th Street with DJs hosted by Endeavors. And there’s a comedy circle and much more. Check out Hiero’s website for the entire lineup.

Friday, September 3 to Sunday, September 5, ticket pricing varies, Hiero, locations throughout Oakland.

Harborside and Smoakland present: Market Daze 2021

The first legal cannabis sesh is coming to downtown Oakland this weekend. Cannabis aficionados will be able to purchase products and consume them on site. In addition to buying from licensed brands and retailers like Harborside, Korova, Blunts + Moore, and others, the Hieroglyphics crew will bring their Hiero Day festivities to the market. This is one of the official events scheduled for Hiero Day. There will also be food trucks and the Turf, Inc. dancers. This event is strictly for those 21 and up. 

Monday, September 6, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., 21 and up, $10, Eventbrite

2021 Beast Crawl Literary Festival

Prior to the pandemic, this literary event would take place in a single day across bars, storefronts, galleries, and cafes in downtown Oakland. The fest went on hiatus last year. For 2021, organizers decided to split the festival into three days and host it entirely online. This year, Beast Crawl will host a fundraiser gala on the first day followed by an open mic dedicated to poet and author, Reginald Franklin Lockett, a beloved figure in the literacy community in Oakland and Berkeley. On the last day, there will be another open mic dedicated to J De Salvo, founder, and editor of Pedestrian Press. If you are a poet or a poetry enthusiast who wants to socialize entirely online, this is the virtual event for you.. 

Friday, September 3 to Sunday, September 5, free, online, Beast Crawl, check website for Zoom link.

Afro Soca Love: Oakland Black-Owned Marketplace

Local vendors without storefronts are still struggling to stay afloat as festivals where they normally would sell their goods continue to be postponed or canceled. This weekend, you can support Black vendors at this outdoor marketplace. There will be live music and food vendors selling delicious Afro-American, Caribbean, and Afro-Latin cuisine. There’s also going to be an outdoor after-party. The fee to enter the marketplace helps the organizers produce and staff each event. Need a mask, gloves, or hand sanitizer? They will have it handy for anyone who forgets to bring their own.

Friday, September 3, 11 a.m to 10 p.m., $5-$20, Afro Soca Love, 341 13th St. 

Sunday Brunch with live music at Caña

At Caña, the popular Cuban restaurant by Lake Merritt, diners can indulge on platanos duros, empanadas, and mojitos, all while soaking up the sun and listening to Latin sounds: bachata, merengue, salsa, timba, and reggaeton, courtesy of grupo Los Gitanos de La Bahía and DJ Mayky. The live salsa band begins playing at 4 p.m. Come support this local spot celebrating its ten years feeding hungry foodies with delicious Cuban food.

Every Sunday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Caña, 530 Lake Park Ave.

Azucena Rasilla is an East Oakland native, a bilingual journalist reporting in Spanish and in English, and a longtime reporter on Oakland arts, culture and community. As an independent local journalist, she has reported for KQED Arts, The Bold Italic, Zora and The San Francisco Chronicle. She was a writer and social media editor for the East Bay Express, helping readers navigate Oakland’s rich artistic and creative landscapes through a wide range of innovative digital approaches.