Never miss local events! Sign up for Berkeleyside’s arts and culture newsletter, The Scene. And check out our new roundup of affordable things to do anytime in Berkeley.

Around Berkeley

Bears for Birds, the Cal student birding club, will lead four beginner-friendly birding sessions around campus as part of the third annual Berkeley Bird Festival. Credit: Sharon Beals

🐻 Go on a kid-friendly bear scavenger hunt on the UC Berkeley campus with the Berkeley Path Wanderers Association. Young bear spotters must be accompanied by an adult. Sunday, Oct. 15, 10 a.m., Sproul Hall. FREE, but RSVP by Thursday, Oct. 12.

💻 The Berkeley Center for New Media and the Arts Research Center present an in-person journey through the physical internet infrastructure in the form of a bus-and-walking tour billed as “Invisible Infrastructures and AI Hallucinations.” Thursday, Oct. 12, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Hearst Museum. $15

🇧🇷 As the “plus one” in Brazilian guitarists’ Rogério Souza and his son Tiago Souza’s Duo Violão Plus One, Oakland percussion maestra Ami Molinelli links the two ensembles on this double dose of Brazilian beauty, as she also holds down the percussion chair in the Bay Area’s choro-powered Grupo Falsa Baiano, a quartet that also features Zack Pitt-Smith on reeds, Brian Moran on seven-string guitar, and Jesse Appelman on mandolin. Thursday, Oct. 12, 8 p.m. Freight & Salvage. $22

🎶 East Bay blues harp stalwart Mark Hummel, winner of two coveted Blues Music Awards, brings his Chicago Blues Revue to the Back Room, featuring Cash Box Kings vocalist Oscar Wilson; guitarist, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Billy Flynn; and singer/guitarist Joe Beard, an 83-year-old blues patriarch rarely heard on the West Coast. Friday, Oct. 13, 8 p.m. $25

🎷 Israeli reed star Anat Cohen is the latest jazz luminary to play the California Jazz Conservatory as part of the JAMBAR series, pairing her clarinet and tenor sax with an all-star combo featuring bass master and CJC Dean Jeff Denson, drum expert Mark Ferber and the supremely versatile pianist Frank Martin, who’s credits run the gamut from Sting, Stevie Wonder and Patti Austin to Randy Brecker, Shankar Mahadevan and Flora Purim and Airto. Friday-Saturday, Oct. 13-14, 8 p.m. $35

🎤 With a bevy of celebrated artists, including San Francisco poet laureate Tongo Eisen-Martin, rapper Honest, and Puerto Rican vocalist and healer María José Montijo (leader of the bomba-powered Esotérica Tropical), La Peña Cultural Center presents the Empowering People of Color Open Mic. Friday, Oct. 13, 8-10:30 p.m. $5-$25

💗 Start stringing your friendship bracelets now, because Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour will be showing at Berkeley’s only remaining commercial movie theater, Rialto Cinemas Elmwood, beginning Friday, Oct. 13. Through Nov. 5. $19.89 

☀️ Head up to the Lawrence Hall of Science for great views of the solar eclipse, plus a discussion of how they occur. Eclipse glasses will be available for purchase leading up to and during the eclipse. Saturday, Oct. 14, 8:30 a.m.-10 a.m. Included with admission. 

💧The 28th annual Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival will bring together poets, writers, musicians and environmentalists for a day celebrating nature. Featured poets include Pulitzer Prize-winner and former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass, Pulitzer finalist Brenda Hillman, and Northern California Book Award-winner Danusha Laméris. Saturday, Oct. 14, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Various locations, but main events will be held at MLK Jr. Civic Center Park. FREE

🧑‍🦽The BORP Adaptive Sports Expo, intended for people with disabilities and their family and friends, includes intro sessions for team sports, cycling and kayaking, rock climbing, ping pong, pickleball, and more. Saturday, Oct. 14. See website for details. FREE

🎶 Presented by Freight & Salvage, the all-day Freight Fest is Berkeley’s version of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, shrunk down to fit on a single block, with food trucks, family activities, a beer tent and two outdoor stages on Addison featuring Orchestra Gold’s Malian funk, the uplifting hip hop of Alphabet Rockers, the brass-driven Anthony Paul Soul Orchestra, and hyper-creative rapper and vocalist Lyrics Born. Presented by Little Village Foundation, the main stage inside the venue features a spectacular array of roots musicians who’ve recorded for the unique label, including the Filipina trio Sampaguitas (2 p.m.), gutbucket bluesmen Alabama Mike and Kid Andersen (2:30 p.m.), family folkie Nic Clark (3 p.m.), country-inflected singer/songwriter Maurice Tani (3:30 p.m.), Bollywood blues harp player Aki Kumar (4 p.m.), powerhouse Latina blues belter Marina Crouse (4:30 p.m.), and the roof-raising gospel of Sons of The Soul Revivers (5 p.m.). Saturday Oct. 14, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Addison Street between Milvia Street and Shattuck Avenue. FREE

🏳️‍🌈 Kala Gallery is hosting The Embodied Press: queer abstraction and the artists’ book. Curated by SF-based artist and writer Anthea Black, the books highlighted in the exhibit aim to “show that sexual, gender and racial difference cannot be easily understood or legitimized through public visibility alone.” An event on Saturday, Oct. 14, 3 p.m., includes a performance of musician Megan Adie’s HUSH, followed by an artist panel.  Exhibit open through Feb. 9, 2024. FREE

🔥 The Metal Arts Guild San Francisco, ACCI Gallery, and Enamel Guild have forged The Flame Within, their biennial collaborative exhibition showcasing metal sculptures, artwork, handmade jewelry and more. Opening reception: Saturday, Oct. 14, 4 p.m.-6 p.m., ACCI Gallery. Exhibit open through Nov. 12. FREE

🎶 A blues guitarist, vocalist and songwriter with a deep affinity for West African music, Markus James brings his Juju Blues collaboration with Senegalese talking drum expert Massamba Dip to Ashkenaz for a dance concert. Saturday, Oct. 14, 8:30 p.m. $18-$22

🧺 Take a pine needle basketry workshop at the UC Botanical Garden uphill from the UC Berkeley campus. Basket maker, weaver and Waldorf handwork teacher Judith Thomas will show you how to gather, prepare, and preserve needles and weave them, using a technique known as “coiling,” into a mini basket. All materials are provided. Sunday, Oct. 15, 10 a.m. $100 

📚 Artist Héctor Muñoz-Guzmán will give a talk about his new book, Brown Eyes from Russell Street at the UC Berkeley Latinx Research Center. Conchas, drinks, and posters will be provided. Read our profile about the third-gen South Berkeley resident. Saturday, Oct. 14, 5 p.m. FREE

🐦 The third annual Berkeley Bird Festival features plenty of avian-themed arts and crafts, birding walks on the UC Berkeley campus, and tours of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (the museum seldom shows off its collections of fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and – of course – birds). Sunday, Oct. 15. Visit the festival’s website for details. FREE

🪗 Accordionist Hanzhi Wang and mandolin virtuoso Avi Avital will play a joint recital at UC Berkeley’s intimate Hertz Hall. The program includes Béla Bartók’s popular Romanian Folk Dances and Camille Saint-Saëns’ showy Introduction and Rondo Capricciosco. Sunday, Oct. 15, 3 p.m. $67-$72

🎶 The Berkeley Symphony will open its 2023-2024 season with a program celebrating the evolution of American music. The orchestra will be joined by the Marcus Roberts Trio for jazz composer James P. Johnson’s Yamekraw: A Negro Rhapsody. Also on the program are Samuel Barber’s vibrant and intense Second Essay for Orchestra, George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (which you might know from United Airlines’ famous onboard commercial), and Korean American contemporary composer Peter S. Shin’s Relapse. Sunday, Oct. 15, 4 p.m. $25-$80

🍽️ Rialto Cinemas Elmwood is showing The Art of Eating: The Life of M.F. K. Fisher, a feature documentary about the dramatic life of the intrepid Californian food writer with commentary from celebrity chefs Alice Waters and Jecques Pepin, as well as garlic king L. John Harris (who will make an appearance at the 6:30 p.m. screening). Screenings will be followed by a conversation between director Greg Bezat and special guests. Wednesday, Oct. 18, 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. $15

🌊 Los Angeles Times coastal reporter Rosanna Xia will discuss her new book, California Against the Sea: Visions For Our Vanishing Coastline with New York Magazine writer Elizabeth Weil. Thursday, Oct. 19, 7 p.m. Pegasus Books Downtown. FREE

👻 Celebrate spooky season by taking a haunted history tour at Berkeley’s fancy Claremont Hotel, which will take you through areas that are generally closed to the public, as well as “the most haunted room in the hotel.” Tours are recommended for ages 12 and above and run through Oct. 31. Visit the tour’s website for details. $40

🎃 Pumpkin sales from Westbrae Nursery’s East Bay Pumpkin Patch at 1272 Gilman St. will benefit Cornell Elementary School. Pumpkin prices range from $2.50 to $27, and they don’t charge an entry fee. You’ll algo be able to take a picture with Oogie Boogie, the villainous bag of bugs from Nightmare Before Christmas (don’t worry, it’s just an inflatable) and a giant pumpkin from Larry’s Produce in Fairfield. Open daily through Oct. 31, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. 

🇺🇲 Berkeley Rep’s POTUS is a comedic, feminist satire about an incompetent president and the team of women responsible for keeping him out of trouble. Read our review. Through October 22. $34-$134

Beyond Berkeley

Attendees at a Drunken Film Festival screening at The Double Standard in 2022. Courtesy of the festival

🎞️ The Drunken Film Festival helps Bay Area filmmakers showcase their shorts while promoting Oakland bars. This year, nine shorts spanning documentaries, music videos, animations, avant-garde films, and more will be screening at Telegraph Beer Garden, Temescal Brewing, Eli’s Mile High Club, and The Continental Club. The fest kicked off with screenings at The Double Standard and Stay Gold Deli this past Sunday and Monday, respectively, and will close out at The Continental Club on Saturday, Oct. 14. Check out the festival’s website and social media for a breakdown of each day’s location and lineup. Tuesday, Oct. 11, 7 p.m. Telegraph Beer Garden. 2318 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. Check out the festival’s website for the complete schedule of films and locations. FREE

🇮🇹 Rockridge Market Hall will celebrate Italian cuisine with book signings by two well-known San Francisco-based Italian chefs, Viola Buitoni, author of Italy by Ingredient, and A16 restaurant owner and wine director Shelley Lindgren, author of Italian Wine. The signings will be followed by a Crucolo parade, a tradition paying homage to the famous cheese that comes from the Trentino region in Northern Italy. Attendees will be able to sample this semi-soft cow’s milk cheese, along with other tasty Italian treats. Many of the businesses inside the hall will also be offering Italian food throughout the day. Saturday, Oct. 14, 12 p.m.-3 p.m. 5655 College Ave., Oakland.

If there’s an event you’d like us to consider for this roundup, email us at If there’s an event that you’d like to promote on our calendar, you can use the self-submission form on our events page.

The Oaklandside’s Arts and Community reporter Azucena Rasilla contributed reporting to this story.

"*" indicates required fields

See an error that needs correcting? Have a tip, question or suggestion? Drop us a line.

Iris Kwok covers the environment for Berkeleyside through a partnership with Report for America. A former music journalist, her work has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, KQED, San Francisco Examiner...

Freelancer Andrew Gilbert writes a weekly music column for Berkeleyside. Andy, who was born and raised in Los Angeles, covers a wide range of musical cultures, from Brazil and Mali to India and Ireland....