A Boombox Procession Honors Lives Lost in Ghost Ship

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While the Dec. 2 anniversary of the Ghost Ship fire was a solemn occasion, some artists in Oakland’s underground music scene chose to honor the lives lost by dancing in the streets. Most of the 36 people who passed away in the warehouse fire were active in the underground arts and music scenes. To celebrate their lives, musicians and event producers Amber Royal, aka FELA KUTCHii, and Lukas Smithey (S.P.A.Z. Collective) teamed up to throw a boombox procession – where friends and loved ones marched through Oakland with speakers blasting music created by artists who died in the fire. The bittersweet occasion provided the opportunity to commemorate the deceased in a way that felt authentic to their community, and served as a reminder of the strength and resilience of Oakland’s creative scene in the face of disappearing arts spaces. -- Text by Nastia Voynovskaya