Once again, we are beginning the search for the 2015 Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair.
After the 2014 event, we received a lot of feedback about The Crucible as a venue. Vendors and attendees liked that it was accessible by BART, had food vendors, people could hang out outside, and the building had multiple meeting rooms. The main criticisms we heard were that it was noisy, hot, and congested. We will be considering the Crucible again with modifications (scheduling the bookfair on a day when there are no classes/furnaces are off, rearranging the layout, opening the roll-up doors for ventilation, etc).
We will also be opening the search and considering new venues before committing to the Crucible. Could you help us?
Here are the criteria we use to select a venue:
- Ability to accommodate 100+ tables (6ft x 2.5 ft) for vendors – approximately 6,000+ square feet
- Near public transportation
- Approximately $3000 or less for one day (or max $5500 if it includes chair/tables)
- 2 to 3 meeting rooms separate from the vendor area (2 meeting rooms with 50 person capacity and one room with 150 person capacity are ideal)
- Wheelchair accessible
- Is all ages
- Does not require us to hire off-duty police officers as security
- Prefer a venue where there is an outdoor area to hang out in that is not the street/sidewalk
- Prefer to sell/serve our own food and have no requirement to buy food/beverage from the venue
- Available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on a Saturday in late March 2015 or early April 2015 plus ability to load/unload tables and chairs and set up/break down on Friday evening/Monday morning.
- Is in San Francisco or Oakland
Following is an annotated list of all of the venues we considered last year. We will be revisiting many of them again as potential locations for 2015. Several of the possible venues did not return our phone calls or emails (3 to 5 attempts each). If you have a personal connection to that venue, or if you have a connection that might help us get a reduced rate at one of the larger venues, please contact us ASAP.
Our goal is to book a venue in August, 2014. If you have information or a lead on a venue, please get in touch with us by July 15, 2014 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that given the political nature of this event, the committee is not willing to sign any contract with a clause that says the event may be cancelled at any time without notice (this includes City College of San Francisco and any San Francisco Unified School District Facility, as noted below).
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Possible venues for 2015:
- The Crucible – 2014 venue
- Oakland Metro Operahouse – Near Jack London Square. Only had one side room in 2014. They have a second side room now, and we will be revisiting them as an option for 2015, though they do say “Oakland Opera allows it facilities to be rented by individuals and organizations for the sole purpose of live performances and rehearsals.”
- Radiance – Located in Jack London Square. Approximately 7,500 sq ft. We didn’t get a response from them in time for 2014, but may reconsider for 2015, though they are currently going through a permitting process with the city of Oakland.
- Classic Cars West – Did not return our phone calls in 2014
- Uptown Body & Fender – Did not return our phone calls in 2014
- Laney College – did not return our phone calls in 2014
- American Steel – Didn’t return our calls in 2014
- SOMArts – A bit on the small side, but affordable. Not near BART and may have classes on Saturdays that conflict
Unlikely to be considered in 2015:
- City College – Mission Campus – Their contract includes a clause that the event may be cancelled/permit revoked at any time without notice. “Any permit may be revoked without previous notice where conflicting dates have resulted or where need of the property for District purposes has subsequently developed. For other cause, permits may be revoked at any time upon reasonable notice.”
- The Armory Community Center – in addition to the controversy of 2013, in 2014 The Armory said they were going through a permitting process with the city and are currently not permitted for our type of event
- Scottish Rite Center Oakland – $6200 for the space, would offer chairs and tables for around $800 ($5 per table and $1 per chair). Security would be $28/hr per security guard, he would recommend 3 guards. Only available dates are Apr 4 and Apr 11. Probably can’t do food. No outdoor area, but across the street from Lake Merritt.
- Inner Mission (formerly Cell Space) – In 2014 said they are having a change of ownership and might be moving to a new location, and couldn’t book an event more than a few months in advance
- Public Works – is 21+ and over only
- The New Parish – 3500 sq feet, plus 1500 sq ft internal courtyard. No separate workshop rooms.
- Horace Mann Middle School and Mission High School (and any other SFUSD school): Contract includes a clause allowing cancellation at any time: “SFUSD may terminate any facility use permit when there are conflicting dates or the property is needed for public school purposes. The District may terminate any permit at any time upon provision of written notice pursuant to permit Section 10 (“Termination”).”
- Oakland Unified School District – same cancellation policy
- Regency Ballroom – $9,000 + for one day rental
- Fort Mason – $$$
- Yerba Buena Center for the Arts – main hall alone would be $8,500 (not including side rooms).
- Golden Gate Park County Fair Building – Approx. $5200 for one day. Close to MUNI but not BART. Previous site of bookfairs until 2012.
- Theater Artaud – Too small
- Oakland Convention Center – $6000-8000 minimum. Also has some requirements for overnight guests at the attached Marriot hotel.
- The Concourse Exhibition Center – approx. $8000 per day, does not have a separate room or rooms for speakers
- The Moscone Center
- The Women’s Building – too small
- Mission Cultural Center – too small
- MLK Jr Middle School (Berkeley)
- Great American Music Hall
- Oakland Asian Cultural Center – has classes scheduled on Saturdays during the day time
- Berkeley Community College
- California Institute for Integral Studies – doesn’t have a large enough room for vendors
- Mission Bay Conference Center – banquet room is 4500 sq ft. And a bit too far from BART, also, not cheap.
- San Francisco Design Center – $$$
- Lakeside Park Garden Center – too small (largest room is 300 person capacity standing)
- Lake Merritt Sailboat House – too small. Could only accommodate 16-20 tables.
- The Verdi Club – Approx. 2500 sq ft plus 400
- The Polish Club – Approx. 2000 sq ft
- The Swedish American Hall – not wheelchair accessible, only has a staircase leading into the main hall
- David Brower Center – Could only accommodate 40-50 tables spread out over multiple floors
- Danz Haus – 2,500 sq feet in the main room
- First Congregational Church of Oakland: Their largest room, Reidenbach Hall, is about 3200 sq ft
- Oakland Museum of California – Their primary rental spaces are outdoor (patio and gardens)
- Humanist Hall – 2000 sq ft , $300-900 for rental
- Malonga Center – 7500 sq, but has this policy, “ The Malonga reserves the right to cancel the rental of any facility at any time and without stated cause therefore. In such cases, all fees, deposits, and service charges previously paid by renter will be returned to person originally receipted.“
- Impact Hub Oakland – about 4500 sq ft in the two largest spaces, very small side rooms. Would be approx $500/hr for all the rooms we need.
- The New Parkway – too small
- Cal State East Bay Oakland Center – Too small
- SFSU Downtown campus – no area for vendors
- Counterpulse – Too small
- SF LGBT Community Center – Too Small
- Intersection for the Arts – 4,000 sq ft
- Hub SOMA / Impact Bay Area – Definitely big enough, but appears to be out of our price range
- California Ballroom – 3,450 sq ft