The How Weird Street Faire is an outdoor street fair held each year in San Francisco, occupying several blocks of Howard Street and the surrounding area, in the SoMa neighborhood. The event has been held yearly since 2000, and is currently centered at the intersection of Howard and Second Streets. The How Weird Street Faire claims to be the longest-running electronic music street festival in North America, showcasing diverse forms of music including Live Electronica, Downtempo, Breaks, Electro, Trance, House, Techno, Dubstep, Drum & Bass, and World Beat.
The event is a project of the non-profit World Peace Through Technology Organization, and is an experiment in creating peace. The How Weird Street Faire brings a diverse audience together to find similarities and common ground, to accept and appreciate differences, and to celebrate creativity and peace. The event also features live and exhibited artwork, including an area called "Art Alley". Occurring in late Spring, the How Weird Street Faire is considered by many to be the start of San Francisco's street fair and outdoor event season.
The festival has included workshops, fashion shows, and even a "peace game". Several charities set up booths with information about topics such as peace and sustainability. Some of the speakers who have talked about technology and peace include R. U. Sirius, Joe Firmage, Craig Newmark (founder of Craigslist), and San Francisco City Supervisors Mark Leno and Chris Daly.
There are many performances, vendors, and multiple stages of music at the event. The How Weird Street Faire claims to be the longest-running electronic music street festival in North America, showcasing diverse forms of music including Live Electronica, Downtempo, Breaks, Electro, Trance, House, Techno, Dubstep, Drum & Bass, and World Beat.
In 2003, a CD was released titled "How Weird Street Faire CD Vol. 1" featuring ten songs from artists who had played at the event. The album features songs from Irina Mikhailova, Adam Ohana, Shakatura, Quasar, Penta, Ocelot, Biodegradable, Kode IV, Waterjuice, and Bassnectar. The album was released by Ceiba Records. The mission of the album and the music was to inspire peace.
The How Weird Street Faire attracts thousands of people in colorful costumes, featuring a different theme each year. The 10th annual event was held on May 10, 2009, with the theme of "Rebooting the Motherboard". The 11th annual event was held on May 9, 2010, with the theme of "Bollyweird: The Cosmic Dance". The 12th annual event took place on May 1, 2011, with the theme of "Mythical Realms". The 13th annual How Weird Street Faire took place on May 13, 2012, with the theme of "2012: The 13 moons we’ve been waiting for". The 14th annual event was held on April 28, 2013, with the theme of "Weirdi Gras: A Carnival of Peace". The 15th faire was held on May 4, 2014, with the theme of "How Weird in Outer Space. Peace - the final frontier".