By David Downs
Click on the photo for a slideshow.
More than 20,000 furry-booted, bare-breasted, dick-swinging revelers took over San Francisco's Market St. for two hours today to celebrate Love Fest. The west coast version of the annual Berlin dance ritual Loveparade kicked off to sunny weather and warm temperatures in the high 70s at 12:15 p.m. as twenty-three floats sponsored by local promoters and nightclubs pulled onto Market St. and crawled ten blocks toward City Hall.
Heart-fibrillating bass greeted ears exiting BART, and the sound took tourists by surprise, while underwhelming locals with yet another ecstatic, exhibitionistic bachannal reminiscent of the Pride Parade and the Folsom Street Fair.
SF Weekly honors for top three floats go to BlastHaus and Flavor Group's "Going Gold Jacuzzi," Bay Area Drum and Bass' Collective's "self-titled" float, and Supper Club, Scion, and XEssential's "Mile High."
Going Gold Jacuzzi took bling to the next level as local DJs Oakland Faders ditched the trancey nonsense for hard core rap and hip hop with breaks. The Faders spun new Timbaland and plenty of krunk and hyphy to match the hottest girls at the party bedecked in gold
tassles pasties, hot shorts and nothing else.
The Bay Area Drum and Bass Collective kept it hectic with a stripped down rig that focused on blistering breaks and always drew a thick, enthusiastic crowd, who hooked into sets by DJ Gridlok, Bachelors of Science, Method 1, and MC Audio Angel.
Lastly, Supper Club and Scion's "Mile High" hosted Afrika Bombaattaa, Jody Wisternoff, Lee Combs and more with an expensive cockpit setup that ended on the steps of City Hall.
Now in its fourth year, Love Fest didn't appear to suffer any contraction in size or splendor since Berlin took back the name LoveParade last year. Love Fest also lacks the violent drug-addled edge that made Berlin shut down the annual event. Downtown SF was all smiles this Saturday, in stark contrast to the weekday scowls normally seen downtown. Even the bums and the chess players took the rave-vasion in stride, while the police kept traffic flowing as smoothly as possible around the parade.
Though Love Fest organizers encouraged the crowd to join in the revelry, most held back and watched the proceedings, to their detriment. Fifty-year old Seattle construction worker David Wright stumbled upon the event at City Hall while taking in the sights on day four of his SF vacation. Wright said he's never once dressed up as a purple dinosaur and danced in the streets, and he sort of regrets it now.
"That's always been my problem," said Wright, as he watched the parade. "I've been too much of a workaholic."
Love Fest events continue through tomorrow evening.
Click on the above photo for a slideshow of the event.