Last weekend O’Reilly’s 17th annual Oysterfest was greeted with less-than-accommodating weather as sparse rain fell throughout much of the morning and afternoon. Boasting one of the best lineups that included a headlining performance by Chromeo, the festival was slated for a benchmark year.
Because SF Oysterfest didn’t end up selling out, the grounds were navigated comfortably, with much of the crowd arriving late due to the wavering micro-climate conditions. But those who were willing to brave the brief showers were treated to a bill featuring local legends, emerging Bay Area talent and a sunshine-fueled dance party commandeered by Chromeo, the Canadian “funk lords” themselves.
Early-afternoon acts De Lux and Kinky got the raw end of the deal, weathering the storm amid a lack of attendance and enthusiasm. Those who were there from the very start appeared to be more concerned about getting their $1 oyster discounts than investing their attention in these buzz-worthy performers. Although both bands battled the weather conditions to deliver great performances, they were unfortunately overshadowed by ominous clouds and discouraging showers. Here’s hoping that they both return to the Bay Area for an indoor show soon, giving those who were either distracted or detoured by the rain a second chance.
Once the day moved into the late afternoon, SF deep house legend Miguel Migs hit the decks and energized the damp crowd, DJing a bass-heavy set that led right into Iamsu!’s powerful hip-hop performance and the festival’s annual “Suck n’ Shuck” competition. The Bay Area emcee got the audience moving with a squad full of local talent that hyped the Guinness-saturated audience into a collective sway throughout Sharon Meadow.
After guests finished sloppily entertaining the crowd by competitively attempting to shuck and slurp oysters, Chromeo took the stage as the sun peaked through during the group’s entrance chant of “Chro-me-ooo-eee-oooo-o.” Playing a number of crowd favorites and igniting a full-on singalong/dance party, the “funk lords” wrapped up the festival with a strong, hour-long set.
Even in the wet conditions playfully referred to by the audience as #moisturefest on social media, the audience kept its spirits high and the SF Oysterfest tradition forged on, proving that the local sentiment during these conditions still remains in festive favor. As a result, it solidified the consensus that at any festival, especially at one focused on gourmet seafood and a spectrum of craft beverages, will always be better served wet than dry.