When Burger Records abruptly went down in flames last year following disturbing accusations of sexual assault, underage grooming, and generally disgusting behavior, one of the Bay Area’s most unique music festivals appeared to be a victim of that self-immolation.
Burger Boogaloo, a two-day music gathering held annually at Mosswood Park in Oakland, was produced in partnership with the Southern California boutique record label, and it’s lineup relied heavily on bands from the Burger Records roster (many of whom went down with the ship due to their own poor choices and shitty behavior.) Along with the Burger Records bands, the event was emceed by the legendary low-taste auteur John Waters and always featured interesting and unique lineups that strayed from the usual cadre of festival bands.
Well, there is good news for fans of off-key music festivals: that event is coming back, but it will be rebranded and won’t return to Oakland until 2022. Hey, still better than nothing.
Now freshly rebranded as the Mosswood Meltdown (I’m personally a fan of the new moniker), the two-day fest is set to be revived for July 2 – 3, 2022, and will feature a typically eye-popping lineup. Riot Grrrl legends Bikini Kill — who have played just a handful of shows in the past 25 years — will headline the event (they were originally slated to play in 2020 before the pandemic swept in and Burger imploded.)
They will get support from Belgian songwriter Plastic Bertrand, who will be performing for the first time ever in the Bay Area, and the Carbonas, an Atlanta garage rock band. Other acts include usual suspects like Shannon Shaw and Bleached, who were regulars at the Burger Boogaloo bashes, and the Rubinoos, a power-pop Bay Area band. More groups will be announced over the course of this year.
Mosswood Meltdown is being put on by Total Trash Productions, the same Oakland group that always ran the Burger Boogaloo festival. However, they have severed all ties with the record label and put out the following statement to coincide with the rebranding of the festival:
“While Total Trash Productions has always independently produced the festival and Burger Records only played a promotional role, we do not want to discount the problems of safety and inclusion that have plagued the music scene for far too long. Instead, we would like to be part of the solution.
“We are committed to becoming a leader in event safety and are working to expand our policies beyond the accepted standards. Over the coming months, we will be publicly outlining new safety and awareness practices in addition to new festival guidelines. In the meantime, we are eager to hear from members of our community who have policies or best practices they would like to see us incorporate in our plans as we want to ensure that your voices are heard. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions.”
The Bay Area is a better place with weird, independent get-togethers like the festival-once-known-as Burger Boogaloo. Mosswood Meltdown looks like it will be safer, healthier, and more fun revival of that festival. I’m looking forward to celebrating its debut next year.