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Weekend Bazaar: KTGA Vintage Tribal Fest

By Jul 1, 2015 Community
Kick The Gong Around (KTGA), vintage market organizers, are "celebrating" the diversity of the world's nomadic tribes in this weekend's Vintage Tribal Fest. It's going on all day Saturday and Sunday at Datong Mill, an underground event space that used to house local bars like that airplane bar and ladies of the night.

For an event focused around tribal awareness, it feels more like hipsters who want to enjoy artistry filtered into the mainstream over decades, without worrying about access to electricity, burying poop, or the anthropological dilemma of enjoying basic modern comforts without diluting ancient culture (#tribeproblems). These two days of workshops, food, drink, and a vintage / designer market are more of a time to find a frayed crop top for Coachella 2016, or hell, Storm Festival 2015, than learn about the complications of preserving nomadic tribes. Maybe it's unfair to place such responsibility on KTGA, so here's what might be good at the fest.

Vendors are putting on workshops and "teepees", the cutesy tribal way to say "pop-ups". Workshops include tribal stencils, screen printing from local design collective Idle Beats (who used to do posters for Sub-Culture), and, because they really needed a stronger "freshman at Coachella" vibe, making flower crowns and necklaces. In teepees are haircuts by Doc Guthrie's, blow outs by Alize, a Habibi Shisha bar, Tarot and palm readings, body painting, ink by Shanghai Tattoo, and more.

The best they could do for actual tribal awareness is sponsored by our corporate overlords on the "Tribal Stage by PERRIER®". There's Mauritius dance, Flamenco, Colombian electro Cumbia, Brazilian capoeria and samba, Moroccan singing, African beats and American folk. Save Flamenco, all of these have a history based on the West African slave trade, which spread African tribal cultures. So that's definitely some form of nomadic.

The festival is also a good chance to get some fancy lookin' food in. No tribal food, because pummeled sago root baked with beetle larvae probably won't bring out the rmb, but they couldn't even bring in Dai Yunnan food. They will however have artisan sausages and chutney from Amelia's, premium beef sandwiches by Lomito, Indonesian staples from Bumbu and more.

And the market. There's over 100 vendors of vintage, fashun, fashion, jewelry, and other accessory designers and shops. Kids also get their own play area and activities.

So, be ready for boar-tooth necklaces paired with ironically ugly clothing. But maybe, mass fashion isn't disrespecting ancient cultures, and ritual becoming filtered over time is just the way of the modern world. Vintage Tribal Fest is on this Saturday from noon-10pm, with the after party Saturday night at le Baron, and continues Sunday from noon-8pm.



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  • zmann999

    Wow I can't figure out which is more offensive, promoting a presumptuous view that the existing tribal cultures of today are all poop burying malcontents or all the hipsters in dashikis that will gracing this weekend's market.

  • georgewyndham

    "For an event focused on raising tribal awareness" - come on! KTGA provides ENTERTAINMENT events in this city. This is such a chicken shit blog post written by someone with a massive a chip on their shoulder. I miss Morgan Short - when he was snarky at least he did it with some charm, intelligence and humour.

  • cavia

    People have the right to comment yeah but at least do it in the smarter way, my son writes better than this come on you are Smartshanghai

  • dteeban

    This seems pretty spot-on to me. This event is little more than thinly-veiled cultural appropriation, and George is so butthurt about being called on it.

  • dteeban

    Also, the cover photo on the SmSh photoset was a white girl in a headdress...argument over...