Summer Guide 2015

SubZERO Festival

SoFA district event celebrates the convergence of geekery and artistry

Grateful Dead | Food Festivals | Movies | SubZERO Festival | Stage | Art | Music

SubZERO FestivalSubZERO Festival

On June 5 and 6, the SubZERO art, music and food festival is bringing the fringe into the spotlight.

"We do our best not be like any other festival," says Brian Eder, who organizes the event along with his partner in business and life, Cherri Lakey. "Our battle cry is 'all hail the progenitors of culture.' We're really trying to push the culture forward and enable artists in what we see as subculture or counterculture—to bring that topside."

The eighth annual festival will take over the SoFa district with the support of dozens of local exhibitions and performers looking to catch a glimpse of the stylish and often unexplored underbelly of the Silicon Valley. But, despite a few familiar faces on the roster, Eder says little will be familiar to most in attendance.

"Today's deviance becomes tomorrow's norm," Eder says. "Subculture is always growing and evolving. It's hard to know who's going to sneak up from where and do what. We like the artists that go beyond their own (perceived) limits and bring what they've discovered back to the rest of us."

Food trucks and beer gardens will accompany the local showcase that aims to combat the stale, techy image of San Jose. But, the artsy aren't mad at the nerdy. They're one and the same.

"My partner (Cherri Lakey) and I consider ourselves geeks," Eder says. "But we don't see a separation when it comes to being a creative person. We really love to see those cultures come together and collide. When these people see something outside their own periphery that can have a pretty huge effect."

The area's long workdays, high prices and sprawling streets can make creativity a taxing hobby. But, these obstacles leave only a hardy bunch who will persevere to create. "The San Jose arts community does the difficult thing," Lakey says. "They make the extra effort to paint for four more hours or finish that song after they've put the kids to bed, or drive across town for a new art exhibit. It's that kind of determination, discipline and action that makes San Jose's art scene thrive on its own terms."

In the end, the answer is simple. The area's sputtering creative engine needs a little space if it is ever going to purr.

"Culture is a something that happens naturally and organically," Eder says. "If you just give it room, to be what it is trying to be on its own, we'd have much more luck."

Grateful Dead | Food Festivals | Movies | SubZERO Festival | Stage | Art | Music