Gray Area’s 100 Day No Ban Dance Party: Celebration of Diversity & Creative Resistance

Photo: Sepehr via Gray Area Website

It’s been nearly 100 days since President (*sigh*) Trump took office. There have been plenty of opportunities to shake our fists at the issues, but here’s a chance now to shake our asses.

Gray Area, a local education hub, incubator and venue space, which also raised more than $1 million for Ghost Ship, will now host The 100 Days ‘No Ban’ Dance Party. The event is appropriately named after Trump’s recent decision to enact an immigration ban on seven Muslim countries following an earlier promise to restore ‘security and constitution of law’ in the first 100 days of his presidency.


Producer Sepehr playing at the How Weird Street Faire (Photo by Micah Weiss)

Saturday’s party concludes a calendar of events that has been part of 100 Days Action, an initiative put forth by at least 15 San Francisco artists and activists. Since January 29th, the collective has produced over 120 events inspiring writers, poets and artists to speak out against injustices that threaten the environment, health care and minority group rights.

Saturday’s lineup will include notable DJs and musicians who hail from the seven countries listed on the Immigration Ban, including Sepehr, a producer who blends classic acid with Detroit-style techno beats, and Surabhi Saraf, a multimedia artist who mixes live installations with her own heady soundscapes.


Artist Surabhi Saraf in her mixed media installation

Gray Area is an organization established in 2014 that’s been using digital tools to build design projects that benefit a broad range of communities. With programs that transform cities, they use technology to solve problems and shape how art is consumed by society.

The dance party this Saturday, April 29th is at the historic Grand Theater in the Mission (2665 Mission Street). People of all race, gender and sexual orientations are encouraged to attend, as well as bring a questionable amount of glitter. The event is $10 and runs from 10pm-2am. Learn more about the organization and their mission here.

Here is a short introduction to some of the artists that are part of this event.

DJ Ahmed was born in Iraq and survived the Gulf War of 1990, the Iraqi uprising in 1991, and lived through the US imposed sanctions until 1993. DJ Ahmed has been a DJ for 12 years playing international music from Iraq and all Arab countries as well as India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran.

Surabhi Saraf is a media artist, composer, and performer based in San Francisco. Surabhi has performed solo at Thessaloniki Contemporary Art Biennial, Greece, Currents International New Media Festival, Santa Fe, San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, SF and Max Mueller Bhavan Goethe Institut, Mumbai & New Delhi among others. Her collaborative work has been performed at NETMAGE 10 International Live Media Festival, Bologna, Soundwave Biennial ((5)), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.

Sepehr is a DJ, producer, and remixer, based in the Bay Area. He started DJing in his teens, and has since become a staple in the San Francisco underground house and techno scene.

Hagage Masaed is a professional singer, songwriter, and music producer with over 20 years experience in music production and radio presentation. Hagage aims to increase global understanding and multicultural acceptance through the creation of music with positive multicultural perspective.

Aria Rostami and Daniel Blomquist gather source material and throw it back and forth to make much of their work. Blomquist can take a short audio clip and concentrate on processing it live and allow for improvised changes to the recordings over long periods of time. Rostami adds in an extra layer of drones, fuzz, melodic ambience, and beats with synthesizers.