Escapes: Enjoy a nonprofit festival in Oakland

The Seshen, a soulful synth-pop group, performs at the second Eastlake Music Festival.
The Seshen, a soulful synth-pop group, performs at the second Eastlake Music Festival. The Seshen

Summer music festival season is here, but most of those events come with hefty price tags. Enter the second annual Eastlake Music Festival: a free, all-ages and nonprofit affair at Lake Merritt in Oakland on May 23.

Last year, about 2,000 people flocked to dance to local music, drink local brews, chow down at food trucks and shop for indie arts and crafts. Multiple stages will feature electronic dance music and an eclectic lineup of local talent.

Among the acts are The Seshen, a soulful synth-pop outfit; Waterstrider, a progressive synth-rock band; and the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir.

It all starts at noon and runs until 8:30 p.m.

Neighborhood venues will also host festival-related parties from 6 p.m. until 2 a.m. For more information, visit

Whale demonstration

What: The Whale Entanglement Team is a group of 30 unpaid professionals who disentangle whales from at-times life-threatening ocean debris. Meet the team, learn from the demo and test out your own disentangling technique.

When: 10 a.m. and noon May 23

Where: California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco

Cost: $24.95-$34.95


Synchronized swimmers

What: The Walnut Creek Aquanuts – and a 2012 Olympian – will perform spectacular synchronized swimming routines at the Celebration of Champions. Wear tropical shirts and roll up your jeans to jive with the Caribbean theme.

When: 3:30-8:30 p.m. May 23

Where: Clarke Memorial Swim Center, 1750 Heather Drive, Walnut Creek

Cost: $10, free children under 5


Agrarian films

What: Consider the third annual Cinema in the Vineyards the ideal prelude to the Mendocino Film Festival, or as its own mini-festival focused on sustainable living and the farm-to-table movement. Pair those foodie films – screened at a vineyard – with a trip to a farmers market and wine garden.

When: May 23-24

Where: Balo Vineyards, 9001 Highway 128, Philo

Cost: $12 per film screening


Mushroom festival

What: Every Memorial Day weekend, the McCloud Mushroom Festival celebrates wild mushroom-hunting in the area. Expect mushroom vendors, mushroom-related items and prepared mushroom dishes, live music, cooking demonstrations and wine tasting.

When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. May 23-24

Where: Main Street, McCloud

Cost: Free



What: Expect an old-fashioned rodeo from the Marysville Stampede. After all, it was established in 1933. In addition to usual rodeo events, there will be some performances geared toward children, wild horse races, bullfighting and a clown.

When: 5:30 p.m. May 23-24

Where: Cotton Rosser Arena Pavilion, Marysville

Cost: $17 adults, $11 children 4 -12


Bee staff