Berkeley Spark plans to bring the Playa to downtown

An art car at Burning Man in the Nevada desert. What will emerge in Civic Center Park? Photo:

An art car at Burning Man in the Nevada desert. What will emerge in Civic Center Park? Photo: eponamusic

A free, one-day festival on Saturday, Aug. 10, hopes to bring some of the spirit of the Burning Man Playa to downtown Berkeley. Berkeley Spark plans to bring art, music, performance, dance and workshops led by so-called Burners — Burning Man participants — and East Bay artists to Civic Center Park.

“We want to tap into all the creative energy of Burners in Berkeley and the East Bay,” said John Caner, executive director of the Downtown Berkeley Association, which is sponsoring the event in partnership with Berkeley’s Office of Economic Development, Berkeley Partners for Parks, Livable Berkeley, Ecology Center, Streets Alive and Berkeleyside. “We want to get some of that Burner energy downtown.” 

Berkeley Spark will run from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Aug. 10, with a number of after parties planned throughout downtown Berkeley to continue the celebration.

The organizers describe Berkeley Spark as “a place for radical self-expression, inclusivity, transformation and mutual respect.” Sculptures (both fixed and kinetic), art cars, dancers, DJs, burlesque performers, musicians, clothing and jewelry designers are all being sought for the festival. Applications can be made through the Spark website. Art submissions will be reviewed by a Spark committee, with decisions by July 15.

You can like Berkeley Spark on Facebook or follow it on Twitter @berkeleyspark.

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  • PragmaticProgressive

    I’d like to see the people who made the bicycle contraption that was over by Saul’s at the last Sunday streets. That was brilliant.

    Some kind of Maker / Crafter element would be especially welcome. Maybe a Drone Zone.

    Oh, and a petting zoo, for Ira. :-)

  • Just Sayin’

    We already have enough burned-out druggies downtown. No need for a festival to bring more of them.

  • The_Sharkey

    Interesting. I wish they had some examples of the kinds of things they’re looking for on their website, but I guess searching “burning man sculpture” or whatever would give a pretty good idea.

    I wonder if the Crucible in Oakland will trot out some of their fire art stuff?

  • Chris J

    Drone Zone? Is that for people who are conservative and have no interest in Burning Man events and philosophy?

  • EBGuy

    Hmmm… maybe you need to be sent to DIYDrone re-education camp. Don’t worry, commandant is a Berkeleyan.

  • Chris J

    Oh, god. Yah, I know what drones are. I thought you were referring to people who can’t think for themselves…for instance, people who don’t live in Berkeley but live in El Cerrito, perhaps.

  • Wendoza

    uuugggghhhh – really?

  • EBGuy

    D’oh! Maybe I should got to the Drone Zone– too subtle for me. Okay, I’m paying attention now.

  • PragmaticProgressive

    yeah, I meant photo drones. :-)

  • guest

    Thanks for the heads-up, I’ll be avoiding downtown on that day.