Porter Robinson recently announced that he, partnering with Goldenvoice, is curating his own festival this summer in the Bay Area. While the full lineup wasn’t announced, acts such as G Jones and Nina Las Vegas were revealed, and the festival, called Multiverse, is set to happen this June.
Days later, the name of the festival is set to change. As it turns out, a festival of a similar name already exists in Oakland. Multivrse is Illuminated is a festival that has existed since 2017. Originally titled Universe is Lit and changing its name in 2018 to Multivrse is Illuminated, the festival is set to return in 2020. It is a festival that is a “Black and Brown Beyond Punk Fest” and is a volunteer-run, donation based festival that centers black and brown LGBTQ artists working in punk and experimental music, and features local and national underground artists.
The festival’s organizers, Jade Ariana Fair and Shawna Shanté Scroggins, took to Instagram to write an open letter to Goldenvoice and Porter today. They accused the two of failing to do any research to see what already existed in the area before choosing the name and location. Multivrse has been featured in a variety of local news, and neither Porter no Goldenvoice did their due diligence beforehand.
“One of our frustrations is that the entity Porter Robinson is working with is a multimillion dollar corporation. It’s a subsidiary of the second-largest producer of live music events in the world. They somehow didn’t have the market research, or didn’t think it was necessary, to see if anyone in Oakland was operating under a similar name doing a similar thing. That negligence is part the reason we’re so upset.”
Multivrse was created to fight back against a rapidly changing music scene. The Bay Area, which famously has the most expensive city in the country, is undergoing gentrification, which is shifting the live music culture of the city. Goldenvoice has taken control of talent booking, favoring corporate-backed acts at venues that previously booked local artists. The opportunities for local live music in a city known for it has been decreasing. Fair and Scroggins created Multivrse to combat that, giving marginalized populations a chance and venue for their art.
“[It] was our love letter, our way of giving back to a city [where] so many people come to take what they can and not think about who they’re displacing, what was there before. We wanted to pay homage to the long line of radical and revolutionary music, events, organizing that has taken place [in Oakland].”
Their letter expressed not only their unhappiness, but listed demands, including a name change, the issuance of an apology, and suggesting that they donate to the cause so that Multivrse can continue to occur.
Fair and Scroggins were met with backlash. Racist, sexist, and other harsh comments were thrown at them from Porter fans that were so severe that the Multivrse Instagram page is now private.
The letter did result, however, in the Porter festival changing its name. According to KQED, a representative from Multiverse emailed them when asked for comment that they were made aware of Multivrse is Illuminated and were in the process of changing the name.
Good guy Porter Robinson decided to change the name of the festival on Friday, March 8th as he details on a recent Facebook post how he didn’t there was another “festival” with the same name.
a couple days ago we found out about another oakland music event called “the multivrs is illuminated” — i feel like the right thing to do is to change the name of our festival.
it took a little time to sort out the logistics, but we’re changing it to “Second Sky Music Festival”!
(to my fans: please respect my decision here & respect the other event