I knew two things starting out on Saturday morning; one was that two friends were coming over for a fortifying breakfast before the commencement of the day’s festivities, and the other was that we were going to LoveFest at Civic Center. Beyond that I had nothing else in mind, no tickets advanced purchased, because my suspicion was that a full day of The Love would be enough for us, and I can say that even though we in fact did not make it out to any of the big hoop-de-do parties, the event at Civic Center delivered just about anything we could have hoped for.
The boyfriend and I arrived at Civic Center with out friends J and Kitty in tow around 12.30, just a few minutes before the Tantra truck appeared on scene. We picked up a few more friends in the first hour, and then it was all down the rabbit hole from there. Over the course of the afternoon we checked out the systems from Qool (which the boyfriend pronounced the best music of the day), Kontrol (where I was totally stunned by a deep, progressive techno sound from Claude vonStroke), and finally, we chased the sun back to the Space Cowboys, which I pronounced best crowd of the day.
This year seemed larger, even though official estimates put the crowd at 65,000, the same size as last year. All I know is that the lines for the portalets were buzz-killingly long, as were those for beverages. At one point we stood for ten minutes while three dude-bras each did three shots and chugged one beer before finally walking away with a drink in hand. They were then followed by a rave fairy with a magic microphone who wanted to interview the bartender. Yes, it was that sort of event.
Going to Lovefest is like having all of San Francisco club culture within one contained, very navigable space (navigable in the sense that even the most gacked kid can find their way around from sound system to sustenance to relief without too much confusion). Walking around the square of Civic Center you could find psychedelic trance, breaks, drum and bass, progressive house and trance, indie club music, and even one renegade Fuck You sound system spitting bits of splintered metal at us. There were thizzin’ thugs and drunken dude-bras, rollin’ ravers and trippy hippies. I saw some of the cutest lil’ candy ravers I’ve come across in ages, and a few escaped American Apparel models. There were moments when I was a little overcome, in fact, by all that was before me, and a few moments when I really couldn’t deal with the sense of being in a crowd half again as big as Burning Man, but then it was all a matter of moving on and finding the next right space. My magic moment of the afternoon was dancing at the Space Cowboys as the sun was lowering in the sky and had come just behind the dome of City Hall, putting it in stark silhouette. Dancing there with my shirt off, feeling the sun on my skin as I looked up and saw the emblem of our civic culture looming above me, I once again thought of how awesome it is to live in a city that gives us the opportunity to run these little cultural experiments on an annual basis. So far, I’d say that this series is delivering very successful results.
My traveling companions and I made our way back to the bachelor pad as the wind was picking up and the shadows got long, and along the way had one of those taxi experiences that leaves you, thank god, with only the vaguest of impressions, mostly of rapid acceleration and stomach-churning g-forces. By eleven o’clock, after hot-tubbin’, beverages, pizza, and Katamari Damarcy, we had splintered off into our separate directions for the night. The boyfriend and I still had some love left in us, but we decided to spend it in front of the fireplace, rather than saddle up for another foray into the wilds. After all, after a spending a day with our friends, dancing, laughing, being amazed, worshipping the dying fall sun, and then collecting everyone around the hearth, what else could we have wanted from our annual Fall ritual?