From Culture and Arts

Who’s going to Lightning in a Bottle 2016?!

Written by Nadia Ibanez, Photos courtesy of Lightning in a Bottle

I should have a section on Wander for “Wishful Thinking” posts. It happens just about every week where I’m sitting at my 9-5 job and get a crazy inclination to check out a cool new art show, concert venue, totally crazy event, or new hotel — you name it, I’ve done it. Or, at least I’ve planned to go to something and then plans/universe turned me in a different direction. A couple years ago, I made the intention to check out Lightning in a Bottle at some point in my 20s/30s. And if you know me, you know this event is 1000% Nadia friendly.

Over Memorial Day weekend, thousands and thousands of people convene for a six-day festival of amazing music, yoga, live art installations, a meditation temple, cooking classes and demos, booze, and environmental consciousness in the form of food, vendors and much more. Essentially, people going to LIB are seeking full immersion in a culture that embraces community, self-awareness, the healing benefits of music and yoga, and the act of befriending strangers with common interests.

This year, Lightning in a Bottle will return to the San Antonio Recreation Center in Bradley, CA. Music headliners include some of my favorite artists like Chet Faker, Grimes and Jaime XX and a boatload of other DJs and musicians. While some people are going for the dance and EDM scene, I think I’m more excited about the yoga and meditation aspect, along with spending a couple days out in the wilderness and under the stars. For a hippie, festie girl, this would be a dream come true. Now it’s just a matter of finding a squad to join me.

For more information, check out lightninginabottle.org or check out the 2015 video below. Hope to see you there!

 

ICYMI: The Edwardian Ball was an absolute playground for adults

EdwardianPeople11

Written by and photos by Nadia Ibanez

The stereotype is true: San Franciscans love ANY excuse to put on a costume and booze/dance the night or day away. From SantaCon to the Folsom Street Fair, I’ve done my fair share of putting on crazy outfits and makeup to party like everyone else. This past weekend’s Edwardian Ball may have been one of the best productions in entertainment and libations with the perfect amount of weird…if you even want to call it that.

I spent the last two nights at the Regency Ballroom in a Cinderella-inspired, peacock-feathered outfit. I made friends with Edwardian Ball OGs and newbies who just wanted to put on a top hat and ballroom dance the night away. I saw some amazing theatrical performances where live music, acrobatics and impressive sets came into play. I saw people playing with steam-powered machines and getting their tarot cards read. And I saw people of all ages finding nooks within the Ballroom to play, chat and let the magic of the night wash over them.

There’s no real way to explain the beauty and mysticism of the Edwardian Ball. But I’ll let these photos give you just a small glimpse into the enchantment of the evening.

Until next year!

 

The Edwardian Ball in SF is this weekend!

Edwardian Ball SF
Get lost this weekend at The Edwardian Ball.

Written by Nadia Ibanez, Photos courtesy of Marco Sanchez

For someone who has slight ADD when it comes to the weekend, I love having a calendar booked with concerts, special meals and day trips. But sometimes a girl’s gotta keep her weekend open and fill it up spontaneously with totally outrageous, typically San Francisco things. It was Tuesday night and I was getting slightly antsy because my weekend was barren. After checking out a couple of my favorite SF weekly calendars, I stumbled upon one of the most exciting events that I knew I had to check out: The Edwardian Ball.

After seeing some stunning photography from past events, I immediately signed up to cover the event. This Friday and Saturday, January 22 and 23, marks the 16th Edwardian Ball in SF. Expect a whimsical festival filled with steampunk enthusiasts, vintage fetish lovers, circus acts, live music and more spiked with Neo-Victorian and Edwardian-era Gothic imagery. Set within the Regency Ballroom, the two-day fest is inspired by macabre cult author, illustrator, cartoonist and comic artist, Edward Gorey. Think Lemony Snicket, Edward Scissorhands and the Addams Family and you’ve got yourself a pretty picture of what to expect when you walk in.

Edwardian Ball SF
San Franciscans love any excuse to get dressed up. Show ’em what you’ve got this weekend at The Edwardian Ball.

If you need any excuse for an ornate costume party this weekend, you need to check out The Edwardian Ball.

Along with seeing fellow San Francitizens dressed to the nines, you can expect steam-powered creations, parlour games, absinthe cocktails, a photobooth, mythical creatures performing throughout the venue, and a vendor bazaar where you can find a last minute Edwardian-inspired costume or accessory.

Friday marks The Edwardian World’s Faire and Saturday will showcase The Edwardian Ball. Whether you want to spend your evening in fantastical lands, try your hand at ballroom dancing, or just sit back and enjoy the crazy beautiful performances, this festival is not to be missed. Entertainment varies on both days so do yourself a favor and buy a two-day pass.

Edwardian Ball SF
See you there!

Also, make sure to check out The Mystic Midway: Stories of Gold. This interactive game takes guests throughout the Ballroom’s three floors where they’ll hear stories from all kinds of creatures and be awarded for deeds with trinkets and surprises.

Each evening starts at 8 p.m. with the Vendor Bazaar open from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday. For tickets and more information, visit www.edwardianball.com.

We’ll see you there!

 

The de Young Museum celebrates 10 years with a free community day

Kevin Kelleher captures the true spirit of discovering and embracing the art in the City at the de Young.  (Kevin Kelleher/Special to Wander Magazine)
Kevin Kelleher captures the true spirit of discovering and embracing the art in the City at the de Young.
(Kevin Kelleher/Special to Wander Magazine)

Written by Nadia Ibanez, photos by Kevin Kelleher

It’s kind of amazing to live in such a small, yet diverse city that’s just dripping in art. From the street art and installations subsidized by the city, to the random art formations you’ll find in alleys and our green spaces, art and inspiration is everywhere. And don’t even get me started on all of the museums in town — especially the ones that are walking distance from my place. One of the museums I’ve grown to love is the de Young Museum. Known for its beautiful, geometric look-out point that towers over Golden Gate Park, the de Young also promotes artists in residence and unique photo, art and mixed media exhibits.

The de Young celebrated its 10th anniversary of its building remodel in GGP with free admission for a full 12 hours. We spent the day — and night — checking out the exhibits, listening to live music, making our own art, and talking to artists in residence. Check out our photos of the people we’ve met along the way. Read more

ICYMI: Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2015

Nadia Ibanez, 31, of San Diego, California watches Steve Earle & The Dukes close out Saturday night (Kevin Kelleher/Special to Wander Magazine)
Festie girl, in full force.

Written by Nadia Ibanez, photos by Kevin Kelleher

Some peeps (ahem, my photographer for instance) would say that I’m a festie girl. I travel throughout the state for three-day music festivals. I’ll drop almost $400 for a weekend pass to something. I don’t scoff at body paint, metallic temporary tattoos or putting flowers and ribbons in my hair. I’ll put on a flowy dress and cowboy boots. And I’ll f*cking dance my booty off with strangers in front of the main stage without skipping a beat.

As I’m rounding out my first year in the City, I’m finding about all of the annual street parties, SF-centric holidays and music festivals. The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival was last weekend and I finally had the chance to experience it for myself. Three days, seven stages, in the middle of Golden Gate Park. Oh, and it’s a totally free event. I mean…if you’re in the city and don’t check it out, you’re doing it wrong.

SF venture capitalist and philanthropist Warren Hellman came up with and funded the non-commercial festival to focus on the music, the community and the absolute beauty of the venue. The first event was held in 2001 and more than 750,000 music lovers trek to the GGP each year.

Crowds flock the Banjo and also main Stage at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass on October 3, 2015 (Kevin Kelleher/Special to Wander Magazine)
Crowds flock the Banjo and also main Stage at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass on October 3, 2015 (Kevin Kelleher/Special to Wander Magazine)

Because Hardly Strictly is a non-commercial event, don’t expect to find any booths sponsored by the likes of Google, Spotify, Chevy or any other corporations hawking their brand and wares like you’d find at Outside Lands or other festivals. But rather, you’ll find groups of people bringing in their own lawn chairs, blankets, booze and food intending to spend the entire day in front of their favorite stage. The idea of “pack it in, pack it out” is huge at Hardly Strictly and it was kinda amazing to see people picking up after each other and not trashing the park like you’ll often see at festivals.

Kevin and I ran around the festival all weekend and shot crazy concert goers, musicians, free-lovin’ drifters and everyone in between. We hope you enjoy this photo gallery. Read more