Every night, dozens of people separately sheltering in place log on to Zoom for a variety show that brings together the movers and shakers of the Bay Area’s nightlife, restaurant, wellness and cannabis industries for two hours of carefree fun.
Some conduct drunk makeup tutorials. Others lead the group in yoga sessions. And still others teach viewers how to roll lumpia and mix craft cocktails. Live performances alternate in 10–20 minute spurts while the chat blings with viewers’ commentary and shout-outs. And when it’s time for DJ sets, the screen lights up with videos of guests cooking dinner, dancing or hula-hooping in their homes.
That’s the scene at Inside Lands, a grassroots virtual party founded by J Tran, Jenn Lui and Kat Reyes, three friends who met in Oakland’s nightlife and bring together a breadth of expertise from different fields. Tran worked in music festivals and is part of a fashion and cannabis startup, Sundae School, which seeks to destigmatize weed in the Asian American community. Lui is the manager of the popular Oakland bar and venue 7th West, known for rap DJ nights, patio concerts, Filipino food and colorful murals visible from BART. And Reyes is an ambulatory care nurse for the San Francisco Department of Public Health.