VALLEJO — A daylong festival to celebrate goth culture is set to take over a section of downtown Vallejo Saturday with an outdoor oddities market, DJs, live music and a fashion show in the Empress Lounge, and three bands inside the Empress Theatre later in the evening.
Connstance Garcia, producer of the Menagerie Oddities Market and show, held the two former World Goth Day events in Alameda.
“We don't just think that it should stay in one city. We wanted to take it outside of Alameda and share the commerce that we bring,” Garcia said. “The goth community is from all over the Bay Area, and there's no other event like ours happening in California.”
Virginia Street between Marin and Sacramento streets will be closed to vehicles beginning at 11 a.m. for the Menagerie Oddities Market, which will feature over 50 curated creators of handmade clothing and wares, upcycled antiques, collectibles, jewelry and artwork. Food trucks, an outdoor bar, a kettle corn stand and Provisions restaurant will provide a variety of food and beverages.
The Empress Lounge will host a fashion show and six DJs, including special guests, Songs of Preys from the U.K., and several veterans of the San Francisco goth club scene. The fashion show will be interspersed with two performances by San Francisco cellist Unwoman, whose music is described on her website as “a darkly futuristic homage to her classical training.” Self-described “themme fatale,” Redd FaFilth will host the fashion show and close with a drag performance tribute to the renowned late drag queen Divine.
The Empress Theatre concert is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Punk-goth band Ausgang from the U.K. headlines the show as part of an extensive tour of the U.S. and Canada. (Ausgang opened for The Cult in 1983, disbanded in 1986 and reformed in 2003.) Los Angeles-based bands, the Mexican American synthpop/wave duo Ms. Boan and first-class goth band Black Angel are set to open the show.
Tickets for the market and fashion show are $10. Concert tickets are $50 and include admission to the market. VIP concert tickets are $75 and include an event T-shirt and early admission to the Empress Theatre seating area.
Garcia’s company previously focused on oddities and curiosities shows. She first conceived of having a goth-themed festival during the earlier days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“My husband is in a band and all the goth clubs were closed, and we didn't have anywhere to go, and neither did our friends,” Garcia said. She had access to a parking lot where she organized an outdoor event and a thousand people showed up.
“We're just gonna keep doing it,” Garcia said. “Every year, it'll be greater than the year before.”
True to an independent post-punk spirit, Garcia says she wants to keep the events “by the people and for the people.”
“A lot of these festivals are being overrun by corporations, and the ticket fees are more than the tickets themselves,” she said. “It's crazy.”
Goth is a subculture genre born from the post-punk music foundation laid by bands like Siouxsie & the Banshees and the Cure, with a penchant for dark and macabre themes.
“Our choices for fashion, love of cemeteries, and Gothic architecture really stuck,” Garcia said.
May 22 was designated "World Goth Day" by British DJs in 2009. The Vallejo event was scheduled earlier in the year to take advantage of the bands’ touring schedules.
For tickets and more information, visit themenagerieodditiesmarket.com.
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THE VALLEJO SUN NEWSLETTER
Investigative reporting, regular updates, events and more
- Connstance Garcia
- World Goth Day
- Menagerie Oddities Market
- Empress Lounge
- Songs of Preys
- Redd FaFilth
- Ms. Boan
- Black Angel
Gretchen Zimmermann started volunteering with Vallejo Open Studios in 2010, launched the Vallejo Arts and Entertainment website in 2014 and creates mixed media sculpture at Mare Island Art Studios.
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