After a two-year absence, the Wine & Bowties crew brought back its massive party/show/festival/celebration FEELS at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond over the weekend. Though the venue may have been more formal than its previous locations (the past two FEELS were held at American Steel warehouse in West Oakland), the inclusive atmosphere and staggering creative heft of music and art exploded bigger than ever.
Highlights near the end of the night included Mykki Blanco's spastic run through the crowd to climb a warehouse scaffold, Bbymutha's confident set of slaps on a side stage, and Princess Nokia's festival-closing, stagedive-peppered set. Artwork from Jeffrey Cheung, Sadie Barnette, Yetunde Olagbaju, and many others filled the hall; Zachary Fox recreated his teenage bedroom next to a couch area. But overall, the cross-collaborative environment is what makes FEELS quintessentially Bay Area; I knew at least two people who flew in from across the country to celebrate its return. Even Kehlani came through.
By the time Kelis hit the stage, the whole warehouse was lit in a steady stream of movement. Princess Nokia's closing set, stagedives and all, capped the night—one where, more than ever, the people were the artwork.