Click through the gallery for festival fashion and celebrity appearances at Burger Boogaloo 2019.
“What the f—!!!” a confused woman wrote on NextDoor yesterday.
She proceeded to illustrate the “LOUD heavy metal music” being played outside of her home for the past several hours.
“I am 8 blocks away (!) and I can hear it with all windows closed. It is appalling. I can’t believe direct neighbors have not called the police,” she said.
The described cacophony in question was none other than Burger Boogaloo.
Now in its tenth year, the annual music festival hosted by the “Pope of Trash” himself, cult film director and author John Waters, congregates thousands of punks, goths and rockabillies to Oakland’s Mosswood Park. Even Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong stopped by to check out some of the bands.
Among this year’s headliners are 1980s-era Scottish new wave band The Jesus and Mary Chain, as well as doo-wop punk locals Shannon and the Clams and surf rocker King Tuff, performing songs from his acclaimed 2008 album, “Was Dead.”
Kicking off on a sweltering Saturday, the single stage’s oversized pinwheel backdrop spiraled in the much-welcomed breeze as attendees flitted between food trucks, vintage clothing vendors and record store pop-ups. Beneath the stage, bandmates of the Dwarves donned in studded leather jockstraps yowled and gyrated, their identities hidden by pro-wrestling masks.
Thrashing in the crowd beyond, the style of festivalgoers wasn’t too far off from the punk band’s eccentric attire.
Oversized faux fur leopard jackets were thrown over black band tees worn by fans with glittery makeup, reminiscent of a rebellious tween’s slumber party or the yesteryear of a goth-adjacent Limited Too. Kaleidoscopic lenses shielded faces from the sun, and gingham picnic prints covered belted rockabilly dresses worn with go-go boots.
Classic horror appeared to be a common theme as well, with accessories and attire boasting the faces of Morticia Addams and Simone Simon from the noir film “Cat People.” And many toted collectible cherry red Burger Boogaloo ‘barf bags.’
Fluffed-up hairstyles in hues of bright yellow, red and purple have been the norm since the festival’s beginnings. New this year, some attendees even had their hair styled and chopped right at the park. Freshly-trimmed bangs among the crowd were courtesy of stylist Heather Salmons, who doled out the cuts in exchange for donations to Youth Education for Success.
All-black attire was the choice of many in a stately ode to the festival’s goth punk nature. But others wore eye-catching shades of neon, including festival set designer Lieyah Dagan, whose bright jumpsuit was a shade of rubber-duck yellow.
“Staring at it gives me anxiety, but it’s holding up,” Dagan said of the large red and yellow pinwheel scrim she helped craft for the festival. “We’re working within the limitations of only one stage this year, and decided to play with the wind to keep things interesting. We experimented with a daisy chain design that would consistently change throughout the day.”
The honeycomb-patterned decorations did have a sort of optical illusion effect, appearing to change from red to yellow as gusts of air blew through them.
The decision to scale back staging was a deliberate one, resulting from controversy surrounding last year’s Burger Boogaloo. Just days before the festival, the Oakland Police Department cleared the park’s homeless encampment, sweeping nearly 20 unhoused individuals. Festival promoters worked with the the Homeless Action Center to assist people in the park with the move and prevent future eviction.
This year, in addition to downsizing festival stages, Burger Boogaloo staff have provided the park’s residents with services like haircuts and showers, items including clothing and hiking gear, and even set up a makeshift nail salon. Attendees were also encouraged to donate money and supplies.
Amanda Bartlett is an SFGate editorial assistant. Email: [email protected]