Help us find a 2015 Venue

IMG_3215Friends,

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
  • Indoor
  • 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 bayareabookfair@gmail.com.

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).

* * *

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:

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