Tag Archives: Festival

The Treasure Chest of Music, Art, and Culture Unlocked at Treasure Island Music Festival

Mia Orantia
Staff Writer 

Coming all the way from Nashville, Tennessee, 27 year old Ronde Osburne made his way to San Francisco for one weekend just to see his favorite hip-hop group OutKast at the annual Treasure Island Music Festival. As he took the shuttle across the Bay Bridge, he was mesmerized by the city and festival location. “I was taking pictures of everything,” said Osburne. “I didn’t know I was going to be on an island. I was like, ‘This is cool as s***.’”    Continue reading The Treasure Chest of Music, Art, and Culture Unlocked at Treasure Island Music Festival

Golden Gate Park Hosts Annual Ukranian Festival

Tanya Dzekon
Staff Writer

The Ukrainian Heritage Club of Northern California held their 50th Ukrainian Festival in Golden Gate Park. This year it took place on August 24, to commemorate Ukrainian Independence Day, the day that Ukraine separated from the Soviet Union and became an independent state in 1991. Although it featured Ukrainian Cossack dancing, Ukrainian folk songs (played on traditional Ukrainian instruments like the Balalaika), and Ukrainian national costumes, the host of the festival continuously reminded the audience, most of whom were first and second generation Ukrainian immigrants, that it was currently a difficult time at home.

Continue reading Golden Gate Park Hosts Annual Ukranian Festival

Outside Lands: Three Days of Music and Mayhem


Staff Writer

The progression of a day at Outside Lands, San Francisco’s annual music, food, wine, beer and art festival, is quite a sight to behold.

When the opening acts take the stage at noon, the Golden Gate Park terrain is predominantly littered with die hard fans of lesser known bands. However, by around four o’clock, the areas near each of the four main stages are overtaken by a seemingly endless crowd. The next few hours are full of frantic walking, claustrophobia-induced frustration, and bumping into passersby, but then something changes. The sun dips lower and begins to set, but the music doesn’t fade. The headlining bands emerge and each person in the sea of people is singing the same song, and suddenly all the craziness and congestion becomes tolerable. This is why, when the Killers wrapped up their set at 9:35 on Sunday night, I was surprisingly disappointed that these three days of hysteria had come to a close.


Before continuing, I should point out that this was my first time attending a music festival, let alone a three-day festival with 200,000 people and  118 bands and artists performing. As an avid fan of rap music, I was hoping to hear some quality hip-hop at Outside Lands, and was not disappointed. Kanye West was his usual charismatic, controversial self on Friday night, and his 100-minute set featured his older material (“All Falls Down”), his experiments with autotune (“Heartless”), and songs from his most recent album, “Yeezus”. West’s performance included one of his signature rants, where he expressed his disdain towards the media and rallied the crowd by declaring them part of his “clique” before launching into his song of the same name. His only misstep may have been stopping and restarting his hit single “Blood on the Leaves” three different times, which sapped momentum instead of building energy.

Along with West, there were a number of other hip-hop artists that showed up for Outside Lands. Atmosphere’s rugged lyricism and old-school beats combined to create a fitting soundtrack for a cloudy Saturday evening. Macklemore, backed by his right-hand man Ryan Lewis, gave his usual spirited effort that became even more special when a lesbian woman proposed to her partner on stage before the duo’s gay rights anthem “Same Love” was performed. On Sunday afternoon, San Francisco native Watsky was absolutely on fire throughout his set, wowing the crowd with his lightning-quick delivery, which mixed with rock-influenced beats to create an unapologetically in-your-face sound. The only hip-hop act that failed to impress was Run the Jewels, a duo comprised of MC’s El-P and Killer Mike. Though talented hip-hop veterans, the pair lacked chemistry and enthusiasm on stage and suffered from redundant drum patterns.

Over the weekend, I ended up gaining a new appreciation for alternative, indie, and electronic bands. On Friday, Los Angeles-based Grouplove provided a smooth, soft-rock sound that oozed with a laid back, festival-friendly feel. Later that evening, before Kanye and his ego overtook the Lands End Stage, Britain’s electro duo Disclosure added to the summer vibes, cranking up the party before ending with their smash single “Latch.”

Once Saturday arrived, I had embraced the variety of genres present at Outside Lands, and came ready to diversify my musical taste. I achieved this courtesy of the Kooks, another British band, who converted me to a fan with their inspired performance of the recently released “Bad Habit.” Anticipation was high for music producer Tycho’s set, and the Bay Area artist proved that this was warranted as his spacey, vocal-less songs appealed to what was the biggest crowd at the festival’s Twin Peaks Stage thus far. Also at Twin Peaks, Capital Cities was enjoyable for anyone looking to engage in an hour of carefree dancing to infectious indie pop melodies. Finally, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers wrapped up the night with a two-hour set, as Petty’s effortless greatness carried him through hits such as “Free Fallin.'”

By Outside Lands’ final day, I was admittedly drained and less than ecstatic to see that the Killers were the only name I recognized on the day’s lineup. However, Scottish singer Paolo Nutini’s unique, raspy voice was music to my ears, and Lykke Li’s electro-pop jams had me clapping and moving as much as I had all weekend. The festival ended on a dramatic high note with the Killers, who allowed every college-aged listener to revisit their childhood with “Mr. Brightside” and “Somebody Told Me,” while also playing songs from their newer albums and even covering Otis Redding’s classic “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay.”

Outside Lands also acted as a haven for non-musical aspects of San Francisco culture. Countless tents were lined up across the park and filled with paintings and apparel from local clothing stores, and a whopping 70 food vendors were also present. Due to a dietary restriction, I was unable to experience the full array of nutrients, but I did enjoy some delicious (though unfilling) veggie tacos and pulled pork arepas. Those in search of less traditional dishes indulged in foods such as chocolate bacon, donut hamburgers, and Korean enchiladas. 

CSSA’s Spring Festival Gala

The Home Away From Home

A student version of the world’s most watched TV event took place at USF last Friday, and I’m not talking about the Olympics. The Spring Festival Gala is China’s five-hour long variety show that is aired on the eve of the Lunar New Year. This year, it brought in over 700 million viewers according to CNN.

“Just like Christmas evening, the last evening before the new year, families would gather and there’s a big thing called the Spring Festival Gala by [China Central Television], so every family would watch that,” Huiwen Tan said, president of the Chinese Student and Scholar Association. “The show is just like the Olympics. It’s so important.”

Sophomore Kun Qian showed off some impressive hip-hop moves synchronized to music beats. (Photo by Hamis Al-Sharif)
Sophomore Kun Qian showed off some impressive hip-hop moves synchronized to music beats. (Photo by Hamis Al-Sharif)

A great population of USF’s international Chinese students weren’t able to return home for traditional celebrations, like watching the show with family, so the Chinese Student and Scholar Association organized their own Spring Festival Gala on campus.

Many gathered at McLaren 250 and 251 to take part in the spectacle. The conjoined rooms met their capacity with every chair being occupied by USF community members, and a crowd standing along the sides.

The Gala featured a lineup of performances that showcased Chinese culture and the talents of our Chinese student population. The evening started with singing  by four CSSA members, each individually performing a classic and popular Chinese song. A rendition of “Ode to Joy” by a pianist and three violinists followed,  and two students dressed in Tang Dynasty garb performed a dance from that era. The dance involved majestic and graceful movements by the male and female performers, and portrayed the ageless story of love and courtship.

Other entertainment included contemporary dancing, an appearance by ASUSF’s Men’s Voices, a hilarious round of charades which required audience member participation, and a magic show from USF law student, Yanan Zhu, who is also a recognized magician in China. Even though Zhu is a student of law, my mind was blown when all his tricks challenged the laws of science. One trick involved an actual bowling ball falling out of a seemingly normal drawing pad which only had the drawing of the ball.

Attendees were able to get a taste of China through performances and some sort of likeness to it in cuisine.  According to Tan, Chinese traditionally eat “cha siu bow,” a steamed pork bun, on the new year. Of course the event was catered by Bon Appetit and they attempted their own version of the “cha siu bow,” which looked more like a taco than an actual bun. The closest we got to a Chinese New Year meal was that food was in abundance. Other items that were offered were “siu mai” (chinese dumplings with pork or chicken), potstickers, eggrolls, fruit, brownies, cookies, and chips.

There was even a giving of “hongbao,” which are red envelopes filled with money and given to family and friends. The “hongbao” only had one dollar bills,  but the gesture itself was very generous. The celebration was grand and well executed by CSSA. While many Chinese students could not go home, CSSA brought home to them here at USF.


USF to Open 9th Annual Human Rights Film Festival

USF is in preparation for its 9th annual Human Rights Film Festival, set to open March 31 through April 2.

The three-day event will be held at the Presentation Theatre in the School of Education. The event is free and open to the general public.
Co-founder of the festival, Susana Kaiser, Ph.D., said the purpose of the festival is for “…people to learn about human rights abuses and the many initiatives to denounce and stop them, and that they take action and contribute to make this a better world.” Kaiser is also an associate professor for Media Studies and Latin American Studies, and chair of the Latin American Studies Program.

According to Kaiser, people should come to the festival, “Because it’s an amazing opportunity to see excellent films, including an Oscar nominated production, which portrays human rights problems ranging from genocide to environmental pollution, including gender discrimination and LGBT rights.”

This year the festival will showcase nearly a dozen films, some of which are selections from the Human Rights Watch Traveling Film Festival, and all of which are focused on different countries around the world including Cambodia, El Salvador, Iran, Israel/Palestine, the U.K., and the U.S. The festival will also showcase films produced by USF students.

Kaiser and Mary Zweifel, administrative director of the Masters in International Studies, are organizing this years’ event with help from Kaiser’s Human Rights and Film class.

The festival kicks off at noon on March 31 with opening remarks by Father Privett and short films produced by USF students, followed by the featured films and Q & A sessions.

Kaiser said, “All the screenings are followed by a Q & A session led by the films’ directors/producers and/or experts in the topics addressed by the films. This year, director Peter Bratt will discuss his film La Mission and David Zlutnick will discuss his new film about Israel.”

Among the films included in this year’s lineup is the 2010 film “La Mission,” directed by Peter Bratt. “La Mission” depicts the struggle of a man living in the Mission District of San Francisco, dealing with his own feelings of homosexual prejudice as his son reveals to him that he is gay. The film carries out the resistance to accept and the struggle of conflicting emotion. This film will screen on March 31 at 6 p.m.
A special panel, Social Change and Media- New Tools for Continuing Problems is going to be incorporated into the final night of the festival.

Kaiser said, “The message is that all countries violate the human rights of their citizens. The festival is international and the films selected illustrate human rights issues by focusing on situations and problems from around the world, the U.S. included.  The films also teach about actions being taken by individuals, organizations, and institutions. Thus, those who attend become familiar with different initiatives at the local and global level.”

Thursday, March 31
12:00 Opening Remarks
12:30 Shorts by USF Students
1:30 Youth Producing Change
3:00 The Dawn Will Break
4:00 In the Land of the Free
6:00 La Mission

Friday, April 1
12:00 Offside
2:00 Budrus
4:00 Occupation Has No Future: Militarism + Resistance in Israel/Palestine
6:00 Monseñor: The Last Journeyof Óscar Romero

Saturday, April 2
12:00 Enemies of the People
2:00 Waste Land
4:30 Testify,
6:30 Social Change and Media New Tools for Continuing Problems
7:30 “Nile Revolution 2.0: Egypt’ Youth Uprising,”  Ana Mish Fahim (“I Don’t Understand”)

For more info on the films in the festival, please visit http://www.usfca.edu/artsci/hrff/

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief Copy-editor: Natalie Cappetta

News Editor: Erica Montes