Wekfest SF 2012 Weekend Coverage…Part 1…

Man, what a weekend…

By now, I’ve become pretty accustomed to the way things work during the week of Wekfest San Francisco, but no matter what, it always manages to be quite the overwhelming experience. All I can really say to sum up the entire weekend was that it was just completely spectacular. The main difference with this year’s Wekfest event was that I was the most well-rested I have ever been. I’ve been going to these events long before it was even a Wek’Sos production and I’ve always been just drained going into the day of the show. This time around, I got everything done by the middle of the week and found some time to sleep. Even while we were all in Norcal during the weekend, I made it a point to not stay out too late. By that Sunday I’m usually walking around like a zombie with blood-shot eyes from lack of sleep and dry contact lenses. I’ll barely be able to make the drive back to the hotel and when I get back, I just crash out and don’t talk to anyone. It was almost the complete opposite this year though, as I changed my procrastinating ways and even showed up everywhere on time…if you know me, you know that I am notorious for being late. Hopefully entering my third decade of life, I can apply that to all aspects of my life so that I can be better rested and have more energy to do more things…

Another thing that I really wanted to change about previous years of being at Wekfest was managing my time hanging out with different groups of people. There are so many different friends from all over that come out for the show and I always regret not being able to spend time with everyone. It was virtually impossible because it didn’t seem like there were enough hours in the day to spend it with everyone in one single weekend. We have the usual Socal people that I love spending time with, and also the Norcal folks that I don’t ever get to see enough of. On top of that, we also had guys from the east coast/mid west making their way out and even the guys from Mayday Garage were going to be there. Luckily I was able to finish everything for the booth this year with time to spare so I didn’t have to spend too much time organizing it in the hotel room. This allowed me to have more free time to spend with others. I don’t know how it all came together, but we all managed to book rooms in the same hotel so I was able to see a lot of people by the time I got up for breakfast. There were some that I wish I could have hung out with more, but that’s just how it goes. It’s hard to really coordinate with so many others staying in different parts in the city but I think we all did a good job of hanging out. It seemed like everyone made a better effort this year. While we were in the city, it seemed like every time we stopped, more people were able to meet up and we had a big group of people from all over… In year’s past I’ve always had an amazing time in SF, but this time was definitely more diverse and I’m happy that I was able to see everyone and spend even a small moment to chat with them…

Now, as for the show itself…Wekfest San Francisco proved once again this year why it was the “mecca” of car shows in these last couple years. It was just bananas… I know a lot of people complained and many more couldn’t even get into the show because they were turned away, but that just shows you how big SF Wekfest has gotten. They outgrew the old parking structure and moved it to the Fort Mason/Herbst Pavilion, and easily outgrew that venue in just a year’s time. It’s tough guys, it really is. For everyone that complained about how crowded it was and how long the wait was, you have to understand that putting an event of this magnitude is an enormous amount of work and managing a crowd of that size is no easy feat. Just simply from being there in the morning to watching the entire roll-in  process, organization improved by leaps and bounds. It was very well put together. I remember last year I was even a little annoyed by the roll-in process for vendors but I had zero issues this year. The main issue with using this venue is the people that run Fort Mason. They are incredibly strict and were not shy about making things inconvenient for everyone. There strict rules put a lot of pressure on everyone and they, along with the Fire Marshall, were the key reasons why the crowd was let into the show an hour late. You wanna know just how ridiculous certain things were? We were inside a large venue with hundreds of cars filled with gasoline (which isn’t an unusual thing for an indoor car show), and for whatever reason, I had to have a fucking smoke detector hanging from my canopy at my booth. It literally was tied and hanging to my canopy. If that wasn’t enough, I also had to have a fire extinguisher just to even have a fabric top on my canopy. I am not too familiar with how things work in San Francisco, but I have never set anything on fire selling stickers and t-shirts. If there was going to be a fire somewhere inside of the venue, believe me, my smoke detector wouldn’t have been much help in alerting me that there was a fire. In any case, the rules were ridiculous last year, and seemed to get more ridiculous this year. Whether or not they will use this venue again is unclear, but I don’t see it happening again, especially after how many people were told that they wouldn’t be able to get inside the show because it was at capacity. I heard people were turned away at 4pm because of the sheer number of people inside and they were upset. I too would be upset if I had waited in line for however many hours and then told I wouldn’t get in. That’s terrible, but I would also have tried to show up earlier, knowing how big Wekfest is every year…

It’s a shame that that many people couldn’t get in…it really is…Every year the organization is getting better and I am sure that the Wekfest staff is working hard on trying to alleviate the problems for the future. Over 10,000 people were at Wekfest, with the numbers maybe even reaching 14,000 maybe…you can’t please everybody. People have a right to be upset. But people also have to have a better understanding of how shows like this work. The Wekfest SF show has reached the levels of popularity that I haven’t seen since the old days of Hot Import Nights and Import Showoff. It took years for those shows to reach the point where they were a well-oiled machine and able to absorb that many people. Wekfest will get to that point, it just takes time. The hype around the event is just crazy right now. Hell, I don’t even understand how it got this big and I’ve been going to this show for how long now? Shit is just wild. If you didn’t get in this year, it sucks and I really hope you have a better time the next year if you plan on coming back. I wish I could sympathize with all of you but I have other things I need to worry about. I’ve been doing car show stuff for about ten years now and I would never wait in a line that long to get into a car show, and fuck, I LOVE car shows, haha…Best of luck to all of you who want to try again next year. It’s hard for me to gauge it and say that it’s worth waiting that long to get inside but my priorities are different. If you got the time and the patience, fuck, feel free…

I had a great time overall. I’m really happy that people were excited about the new shirts and the new merchandise. I didn’t go into it with any expectations but man, I was surprised by how much merchandise went out that day. I thank you for all of your continued support and it’s a great feeling knowing that you guys love The Chronicles. Stickers were going faster than ever and I ran out of a majority of shirts before the doors even opened that day. Thanks to Junior, Adam, and Ken for putting this event together and allowing me to be a part of it. These guys work their asses off and deserve all the success that is coming to them.

With that said, let’s get on with the coverage. If you are here to just see photos of cars, then you obviously are not a regular here on The Chronicles. I like to cover any and everything that is going on to give people an idea of what our experience is like overall. You can see photos of the cars at SF Wekfest EVERYWHERE. Everyone these days has a camera and is covering events like this. The way I am going to present it to you is more personal and like no other. This site has grown because of the idea of presenting the “lifestyle” to viewers throughout the world. Remember, it’s not about how many people are doing it…it’s how it is done that matters. Execution is everything. You want to see cars, scroll past everything else and look at just the cars or go to any other website to see car photos. You’ll see everything that goes on here, from the show, to behind-the-scenes, etc. Don’t like it? You’re welcome to leave, but buy a sticker first, haha…

Here we go…

The Wekfest SF weekend kicked off for many of us on Friday morning. If you saw last year’s coverage, we had a pretty large group of people to caravan with. This year was a little different… Some couldn’t make it this year, some were still putting their cars together, and some had babies so they couldn’t just up and leave right away.  For the 2012 SF Wekfest road trip, May and I had just a couple of people to cruise with; Salem and Murdock in the J’s Racing Phaze2 TSX, Keith aka Keychain from It’s JDM Yo!!, Ms. Holly Lee, and a couple new friends in Jay Mayuga and his girlfriend, who apparently didn’t say a word all weekend, haha…

After meeting up for breakfast at Denny’s in the morning by Magic Mountain, we headed over to the Chevron across the freeway to gas up. I had to pick up an energy drink as well and buy tissues since I had a cold coming…why I needed a energy drink at 11am in the morning is a mystery but I probably purchased it by habit since I was usually going to bed around this time on a normal week day…

Jay Mayuga’s TSX with Modulo Voltage front bumper and Volk CE28s….Jay is also the only person who was down to blue tape his front end. Salem is Mr. Race Car guy now so his bumper is beat up anyways, and Keith apparently just didn’t give a shit… May and I rolled out in her Yaris. We didn’t blue tape shit because her car is so high that it usually does the job of kicking the rocks at everyone else…

Random thought but, it’s nice to know that even year’s after I sold my Accord, I can’t get away from them and they are still following me everywhere, haha…

Keith scratching his head and wondering how his freshly-painted lip kit is going to survive the streets of downtown San Francisco…

We got on the road and were overjoyed that there were no indications of rain…Last year, we drove through a storm and ended up taking the 101 north-bound all the way to San Francisco, which ended up taking us almost 9 hours…

We stopped at Kettleman City for a pee break and a stretch, then got back on the road immediately…

I didn’t take too many photos after that because there wasn’t anything very exciting about the drive. We got to our hotel around 5:30 or so in the evening and just relaxed for a bit before going out to dinner. There wasn’t any crazy pre-Wekfest private dinner party this year so we just rounded up whoever was in the city already and went out to grab drinks and eat. Those photos are actually on May’s camera so I’ll just toss-up those photos in part 2 tomorrow…

The next morning, we all got up early to eat breakfast downstairs in the hotel. One of the main reasons we stay at this particular hotel was because of the free breakfast. Most other places just offer simple fruits and maybe some travel-size cereal but this joint had everything…eggs, sausages, biscuits and gravy, bagels, etc…and all you can eat. It’s the best free meal of every day, haha…

Some of the homies from the other coast were up bright and early… Here’s S2kJay chillin with Widdy after breakfast in the patio area of the hotel…

Sloppy, Sam, and his girl Linh enjoying some free food…

Ryan, OldmanJames, Ray from ATS Garage, and DPK Darryl grubbing…Ray lives in Norcal and didn’t even stay at the hotel, but probably stops by the hotel to eat everyday because the people at the hotel don’t even pay attention…Actually, Darryl didn’t stay there either, haha…

After breakfast we all decided to meet up again and take the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) aka a train down to the city to hang out. There were so many of us that it wasn’t even worth driving all the way down to the city and trying to find everyone so we all agreed to take the train and stay together…A couple of us had cars to show that weekend too and parking them in the streets of San Francisco is not something that anyone was down to do…

I hadn’t taken the BART in a couple of years so I forgot how to buy tickets and what not, but we figured it out with just a couple of minutes before the train arrived…

Ryan Der from ATS showing off his faux-camera iPhone case…

May doing her favorite activity, iPhone apps and Instagram…

Salem, who I am wishing the best for, since he was set to have surgery on his eye today, just a day after he returned home from Frisco…

Murdock doing what he does best…

Ryan “Rywire” Basseri was probably happy to have a moment to relax and is not trapped at the shop building engine harnesses…

Phil from ATS Garage hopped on the train a couple stops later and then we all got off the train on Powell St… it was pretty busy being that it was President’s Day weekend so happy shoppers were everywhere…

A couple of the guys wanted to check out the Ferrari store so we waited outside while Salem played around with the Ferrari FXX motorized toy outside…

May was just happy not to be doing car-related shit for a change… I know how much she likes to take the BART down to the city so it was good that we had the opportunity to take it again…

Outside of one of the stores, I spotted this guy across the street who was so fucked up off of muscle relaxers that he was falling asleep in the middle of the street…At one point he almost fell off of the sidewalk and into the street with cars approaching. I don’t know what this guy was doing but he was messed-up. Eventually he got halfway onto the street and then had to turn around to get his bags but before he could pick them up, he started dozing off and was just all over the place. We all stopped to see what was going to happen next but he eventually stumbled off so we moved onto Chinatown…

Ryan stopped for a photo op with the lions that stood guard at the gates of Chinatown San Francisco…

They had these cool bronze statues throughout Chinatown…this looked like a nice family gathering…

…nice until you see one of the statues playing a game of grab-ass…

Good to know that some Chinese guy decided to create this jade statue to honor the ancient Chinese sport of American football. I’m sure you guys know who Jeremy Lin is by now and how he’s been doing great things on the basketball court…well, here is his great great grandfather, Terrell “Sweet & Sour Fingers” Lin, who was the Michael Jordan of Chinese football. He lead the league in touchdown receptions and his team, the Beijing Fighting Communists, went undefeated for three straight seasons because nobody in China plays football and they were the only team. Lin was also the quarterback on his team and threw the ball to himself because nobody else was on his team. He retired after he realized that nobody in China plays football, EVER….

Only $10.99 for these apple bottom jeans featuring your favorite celebrities from the early 2000s…Nothing says “wear these jeans” then having Carmen Electra on your back pocket…

Chinatown still bearing decorations from Chinese New Year a week or two ago…

Deejay Murdock doing work…

The trolley system rolling through…

Our buddy Nick Caster arrived from Roseville in the afternoon with his CR-X and then took a cab down to Chinatown to meet up with us…

A piece from famed street graffiti artist Banksy on some random wall in Chinatown SF…He was down there not too long ago for the debut of his documentary and took to the streets early to knock out this piece. They even have a plastic cover over it to protect it…that’s when you know you’re doing big things…when you tag on a wall and steps are taken to preserve it…

One of the more interesting things beside the Banksy piece that we saw down in Chinatown were these crazy dragon knives/blades/swords…While I’ve never actually seen anyone try to rock these in a fight, I’m confident in saying that I’d run like I was on fire if someone chased after me with giant blades with dragon handles on them…

Elderly Chinese street musicians playing for by a busy intersection…

Sam and his girlfriend met up with us also and we decided to stop by a local Thai food spot to eat lunch…everything looked absolutely delicious and everything was also only 5 bucks a plate…

After eating, it was starting to get dark so we made the trek back to the BART station to head back to the hotel…

The train was pretty crowded by the evening but we managed to all get seats…

Sloppy dropped Sam and his girl off earlier in the day so he didn’t get to take the BART with us until our trip back to the hotel… Turns out that it was his first time ever being on it and he seemed pretty excited to experience it…

Speaking of Sam, it was his birthday on the day of Wekfest so his girl Linh had this cool birthday cake made for him…It’s a cake made to look like his Civic driving through the Golden Gate Bridge in SF…

We parted ways for the most part after we got back to the hotel. Salem and Murdock headed out to meet up with Junior from Wekfest at a local car meet, while the others bought alcohol and pre-gamed for the night. ATS Phil met up with them later that night to go party at a lounge in the city. May and I hung out in the room for a little bit before meeting up with Rodrez and his Fiancee’ for dinner. Not much excitement after that since we had to wake up early in the morning for the Wekfest show…

The morning of Wekfest, we got up early and got ready to head to the Fort Mason venue for vendor set-up. Rodrez didn’t have a booth this year but he wanted to roll to the event with us so he could cover the show before spectators got there. Breakfast was ready right around the time we got down to the lobby so we stopped to eat really quick. We weren’t in too much of a rush since I got back to the hotel early the night before and had the car loaded-up and ready to go…

On the drive to SF that Friday, Salem and I had joked around about putting the free hotel food in our pockets to bring to the show, so I thought it would be funny to put a couple sausage links into a styrofoam cup to give to him when he got there. The last sausage turtling-up out of the cup wasn’t planned but added to the randomness of having a cup of sausages, haha…

When I got to Fort Mason, I checked-in and drove right into the venue. There was no wait this year because they were much more organized….This 510 was one of the first cars I saw that morning rolling into the show…

I thought it was a little crazy to see people already waiting in line to get in, but I later found out that these guys had been camped out there since 1am in the morning….fucking crazy…That’s when you realize how big Wekfest has gotten, when people are camping out like they were waiting for a new shoe release or something…

Some of my favorite photos that I took last year at Wekfest were during the roll-in process so I was happy to have plenty of time to get more this year in-between setting up The Chronicles booth with May and Tony from It’s JDM Yo!!…

A wingless Subaru STI sitting on some red Volk TE37SL…

Adam from Wek’Sos giving some instructions to one of his staff members…

Junior directing the 510 to his parking space inside the show…

A boosted CR-X drag car making his way in…

DSR Loreto posted-up by his “Shark-teal” EK on new Volk TE37Vs…

R33 Skyline GT-R on Prodrive wheels…

Evos were represented very well at Wekfest SF 2012…

2GS on SSR Vienna Kreis wheels…

Subaru with Work Schwert SC4s…

I had no idea Mark with the white 4-door DB would be making the trip to Wekfest so it was a cool to see him pull-up….He made some more additions to his Integra like a front splitter…

…and a retro-fitted Mugen wing…

ATS Anh’s ITR with a brand new look….say goodbye to the BYS front bumper…

Here is Anh mounting a camera to his windshield… He had this nifty idea of doing a time lapse video during the event so it’ll be cool to see later what came of it…

I wanted to see what was going on in the other building so I walked over and saw Mark Arcenal’s Rauh Welt Porsche…

No new additions to the car itself…It looked about the same as it did during SEMA last year…

Not even sure if Mark was even there at the show but there were guys moving the car around while others set-up the Fatlace booth…

PG+K Moe and Bon made the trip out to Norcal…Here they are chatting it up with Rodrez in their brand new Chronicles Ver. IV tees…

I walked outside to see if anyone new popped-up and spotted DPK Slappy and Jay Powers in his CR-X…

Absolutely loved this Evo…Never really imagined how teal and brown would work together but for whatever reason, it does on this car…

Traveling all the way from Japan was Tetsuya Yamaguchi of USDM Jam-fame… Here he is chatting with Big Mike…

Lisa from ATS Garage and her always-clean Integra on Almight Grey Regas…

Her husband Jay and his timeless CR-X on SW388s…

Nick Caster debuted his new J’s Racing set-up on his CR-X…more on this later…

ATS AJ and his C-West Integra on mag blue Volk SE37K…

Closing it out for today with a quick snap of Rywire’s NSX…under-exposed but I thought it made for a cool shot…

That’s all for today folks, come back with WAY more. I shot about 650 photos at the show and am still in the process of going through all of it… Thanks for looking…

10 thoughts

  1. Amazing write up as always, can’t wait for more. There are only a few writers or there that know what they’re doing, and you go way beyond that by making it feel like the reader was there.

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