On May 17, the Oakland-based nonprofit Urban Peace Movement held a voter registration event at Lake Merritt called Town Up Tuesday. The four-hour festival had elements of a political rally, a prayer session and a family reunion. But above all, the power of Oakland’s hip-hop culture was on full display.
As a few vendors flanked the grassy hillside that sits adjacent to the landmark Fairyland theme park, attendees sat scattered on the grass while even more stood in front of Lake Merritt’s bandstand. People danced and held up their phones, capturing footage of some of the Bay Area’s most beloved musicians.