Last week, Rocky’s Brooklyn Basin, the waterfront outdoor venue adjacent to Rocky’s Market, announced it will shutter on August 31. The popular venue became a hub for musicians struggling to find safe places to perform during the pandemic. The Oakland Symphony even hosted a series of free concerts at the space. Currently, there aren’t any plans for live events to continue at the location, but there’s hope that could change once a new tenant moves into the space.

In the meantime, there are plenty of other events this month to check out. And while we mourn the closing of Rocky’s Brooklyn Basin, we also want to highlight happenings elsewhere in The Town. There’s live music, an end-of-summer celebration for kids, a mural unveiling, and a huge plant sale in downtown Oakland.

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Oakland Symphony presents ‘Summer Stage at Oakland City Hall’

Conductor Kedrick Armstong will lead the Oakland Symphony at Summer Stage at Oakland City Hall. Credit: Matt Adams

Last August, the Oakland Symphony hosted a series of free outdoor shows at Brooklyn Basin. This time around, the symphony is hosting one special evening under the stars at the foot of Oakland City Hall. A 42-person orchestra, led by guest conductor Kedrick Armstrong and featuring violin soloist Amaryn Olmeda, will present Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No. 29, W.G. Still’s Summerland, Camille Saint-Saëns’s Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, and Darius Milhaud’s Le Bœuf sur le toit. Attendees can bring refreshments or purchase food and drinks that will be available that day. There’s no need to reserve tickets, although seating at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza will be first come, first served.

Thursday, August 4, 7 p.m., free to attend, Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, 14th Street, and Broadway

Violinist duo Fire & Grace at St. Paul Lutheran Church

The acclaimed musical duo Fire & Grace consists of violinist Edwin Huizinga and guitarist William Coulter. Credit: Michelle Magdalena

Musical duo Fire & Grace, a collaboration between violinist Edwin Huizinga and guitarist William Coulter will have one concert in Oakland as part of this year’s Glenview Classical Series, which has been presented by St. Paul Lutheran Church in Oakland since 2018. The duo explores sounds of classical folk and contemporary traditions worldwide. Attendees can expect a musical journey from folk tunes to classical compositions to tango, Celtic ballads, and more.

 Friday, August 5, 7:30 p.m., $20, St. Paul Lutheran Church, 1658 Excelsior Blvd.

Oakland Public Library end of summer celebration for kids

Lance McGee performs as Unique Derique. McGee works professionally as both a counselor and a clown, and he uses those unique skills to support healing. Credit: Eric Carmichael

Oakland students will return to the classroom in less than a week, and the 81st Avenue Oakland Public Library is celebrating the end of summer by hosting a fun afternoon at Liberation Park. Kids will enjoy a performance by Lance McGee, who performs as Unique Derique. There will also be storytime, roller skating, mural painting, games, and even a backpack giveaway.

Saturday, August 6, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., free to attend, Liberation Park, 7101 Foothill Blvd.

Soñando y Cambiando mural unveiling

Members of the non-profit 67 Sueños performing a poem, alongside banners depicting scenes with Black and brown people in Oakland, including signs that read “Certified Ohlone Land” and “Close All Detentions.” Credit: Carla Hernández Ramírez

67 Sueños is an organization that works with undocumented youth and families of mixed immigration status. Part of their work involves educating youth about politics that affect their daily life and using art as a form of healing from trauma, a process the organization refers to as “artivism.” Over the past month, youth participants have been working on a large mural on E 12th Street on a wall that belongs to Home Furnishings, a local furniture store. This weekend, the group will unveil the mural. Local pop-up Café con Cariño will be on-site selling coffee drinks. 

Saturday, August 6, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., 2101 E 12th St.

Hella Plants Market at Oakstop

Plant shoppers at a previous Hella Plants Market. Credit: Shots of Soul

Since launching last summer, the Hella Plants Market has expanded into San Francisco, with lots of plant vendors wanting to join in the fun. Whether you are a seasoned plant parent or curious about how to start filling your home with flowers and greenery, this market will allow you to check out tons of “plantpreneurs,” as the Hella Plants Market calls its vendors. While perusing the plants for sale, you can also enjoy vegan food that will be available for purchase and more. The event will be centrally located at Oakstop, a co-working and event space in downtown Oakland. 

Sunday, August 7, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., $5-$30, Oakstop, 2323 Broadway.

Azucena Rasilla is a bilingual journalist from East Oakland 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.