The Black Joy Parade is a celebration of the black community’s influence on cultures past, present and future. This year it involved a parade that started at 13th Street in downtown Oakland just after noon and made its way down Broadway to a four block ‘Celebration Site’ around 20th and 21st Street that was filled with vendors, attractions and two performance stages. The roads of the site were closed for the day and the party ran throughout the afternoon up until the 7pm finishing time. Across the Main Stage and Diaspora Community stage, a continuous lineup of DJs and performers entertained huge crowds, building up to a headline performance from RnB singer Ashanti.
Technical production for both stages was the responsibility of Islay Events, a full-service event planning and production company based in Buellton, CA. The company, headed by industry veteran Jeremy Cable, also took care of production for the last Black Joy Parade event in 2020, which took place just weeks before the global pandemic brought the events industry to a grinding halt. The parade wasn’t able to run in 2021, but Jeremy and his team were invited back for this year’s event based on the professional service they provided to the organizers back in 2020. Islay Events’ in-house Lighting Designer, Lazer Freidman, was responsible for the design, programming and running of the main stage rig, which had scaled up production for this year’s show due to the caliber of the headline artist.