Sunset Season Opener at Stafford Lake. April 25, 2010. FREE.

26 04 2010

Sunset 2010 Season Opener at Stafford Lake 1

What a glorious day in the park.

I took the Transported SF bus to Stafford Lake again and I think I’m committed to this relationship.

As long as this bus is going to Sunset I will be on it.

It was really interesting to be part of a dance floor experience that traveled down Mission St at golf cart speeds to confused looks from the locals, take flight down the open highway, and then come down for a landing in the outskirts of Novato to one of the greatest free massives the West Coast has to offer.

We touched down at 2PM and there was easily more than a thousand people already there with hundreds more marching in over the horizon like an invading army. It was epic.

There’s already several videos online but I like this one courtesy of chrislrosa because I think it’s great that we live in an era where less than 24 hours after any major event you can find video footage of yourself online filmed by a stranger. Watch out for those flying elbows, Mike.

It’s interesting to think of life in the underground as a neverending adventure. Everyone has a different story to tell and there are certain events that are chaos magnets, they pull thousands of different stories to one place in time and weave hundreds of loose ends together to form the background of your story, which in turn is just the background to someone else’s story, all sharing the same soundtrack to that day.

Everyday in the underground is like a new episode of LOST.


Sunset. FREE Party on Treasure Island.

Sunset. Fall Equinox Celebration at Stafford Lake. 2009. FREE.

22 09 2009

Sunset. Fall Equinox Celebration at Stafford Lake. 2009. FREE. 4

Sunset. Fall Equinox Celebration at Stafford Lake. 2009. FREE. 6

Sunset. Fall Equinox Celebration at Stafford Lake. 2009. FREE. 1

I took the Transported SF bus up to Stafford Lake for the first time and it turned out to be a fabulous experience.

Sunset. Fall Equinox Celebration at Stafford Lake. 2009. FREE. 2

Even before they had the online presence and it was all just phone numbers and flyers, hundreds, on some days thousands, of Bay Area kids would pilgrimage up to this sleepy suburb just north of San Francisco and transform its park by the lake into an amazing and wonderful experience.

Bruce Sterling once wrote that Burning Man is the New American Holiday.

To go with that theme, Sunset has very much become one of my favorite San Francisco Holidays.

It can be kind of difficult to put into words, but it’s a ritual that transcends a party. It’s something that we’ve all created, kept alive all these years, and means something to us… if for no other reason than it’s a celebration of the fact that you made it to see another year. Even if you lost your job and have no idea what the fuck you’re going to do with your life, you made it. I consider myself very lucky to have been a part of that constantly evolving tribe over the last 14 years.

My good friend Doug Zimmerman took some great pictures over HERE

He’s been doing an amazing job of documenting the scene over the years, which will make for one hell of a coffee table book one of these days.


Related posts –

Sunset. FREE Party on Treasure Island.

420 Party at Stafford Lake. 1997. FREE

4 05 2009

Salad Days 9

Salad Days 10

This was one of the first big free massives at Stafford Lake. Sunset would later put the spot to good use by throwing their equinox parties there, throwing sometimes up to three parties per season up by the lake. It’s really amazing that we’ve been able to use this spot for 12+ years now. Not only have we not been kicked out yet but we’re actually on good terms with some of the park rangers and locals.

I discovered this flyer while digitizing another shoebox of old flyers and realized that the Stafford Lake debut party was also the day after this free party in Golden Gate Park.


What an epic line up and great era from free parties in the Bay Area.

Sunset Season Opener at Stafford Lake. 2009. FREE

7 04 2009

First Sunset park party of 2009 2

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First Sunset park party of 2009 5

First Sunset park party of 2009 8

First Sunset park party of 2009 9

First Sunset park party of 2009 1

Matty B passed away earlier this year. I didn’t know him very well but I used to see him all the time when he worked at Housewares. He was always super fucking cool to me, especially considering I never bought any records at Housewares but was in there once a week because I collect flyers. We were also both extras in that corny raver movie, Groove. Sunset had an alter for him on Sunday.

First Sunset park party of 2009 3

I brought up a Guan Yin for good luck.

First Sunset park party of 2009 4

Peace be with you, Matty B.


Related Posts –

Sunset. FREE Party on Treasure Island

Sunset Season Opener at Stafford Lake. 2006 – 2007. FREE

2 04 2009

I remember when these parties used to happen all the time at Richmond ’s Point Molate or Berkley Marina. We’ve long since worn out our welcome in those locations so it’s kind of amazing that a decade later we’ve been able to hold onto Stafford Lake, a hidden gem just 30 minutes north of San Francisco. Before youtube and before all the social networking sites that exists today, 800- 1,000 people would descend on this tiny suburb based on just word of mouth and a phone number for the first Sunset park party of the year. And we would rock the fuck out on their lake!

This was one of the first Sunset videos to go viral. It’s a great 8-minute static shot that does a perfect job of capturing all the insanity that goes on right by the decks. Yo! Waldo! I found your future ex-wife at 6:25. She’s smoking hot.

Here’s another great static shot video from 2007.

It does a perfect job of showing just how large Stafford Lake is. You can trek out to the bathrooms and by the time you’re ready to head back there’s a small army of people and their gear between you and your camp. You can spend the entire day bugging out and making a spectacle of yourself and still not cross paths with half the people there. It’s pretty epic.

Here’s another 2007 video from luxvibes. I like his work

The opening shot from across the lake at the party’s peak was an excellent idea. I can’t believe I never thought of that before. And the closing shot with the Come-Unity sign made me smile. Sunset parties at Stafford Lake are pretty unique and special. Hopefully we’ll be able to keep this party going a while longer.