It wasn’t only love that rocked the streets of San Francisco this past weekend, but the vibrations of drum ‘n’ bass, house, techno and funky breaks as the many lively sounds of stirred up and electrified the colorful city. The annual San Francisco Love Fest celebrated the culture and, in the words of Love Fest president Joshua Smith, “the power of dance music to bring people together and make change.” Artists like Gabriel & Dresden, DJ Dan, Silence Fiction, Rick V, DJ Icon, Donald Glaude, Chris Fortier, The Bay Area Drum ‘n’ Bass Collective, and Oakland Faders graced the floats through downtown on Saturday afternoon. Parading down Market Street, the DJs on their mobile stages tried listening to what was being played by the previous floats, asking themselves, “What does the dance floor need next?” as Dave Dresden put it. Though unlike most nights, this dance floor was literally moving, as the floats made their way to the outdoor dance party in front of City Hall.
The advantage of an outdoor daytime party is that you can really see the faces of your audience. Silence Fiction couldn’t ask for more from the crowd, who were getting down to his minimal techno. “I would get lost in the dance for a while, and then look up, see the audience, and see that they were there with me.” Chris Fortier echoed Fiction’s impression: “I would look and see people really connecting with the music,” which, of course, inspired Fortier to keep the party going. San Fran local DJ Icon brought her techno-funk, nu-school, dirty electro sound to the Fest of Love. Happily dropping her funky break rhythms for her hometown, and loving the experience of seeing the expressions of people’s faces when looking up from her tables, Icon moved the represented.
As the sun set, the party had just begun as crowds dispersed to the many nightclubs for more traditional dance experiences. But for one afternoon, the San Francisco Love Fest invited the entire city to dance together in one love to many beats.
Words: Venise Evangelista