The Crucible's Fire Arts Festival returns for its 9th year in a new, larger Oakland location. This is one of my favorite events. You won't see so much crazy fire-breathing art in one location until next year's festival. There are sculptures and flame-thowers, musicians and fire performers.
The festival runs next Wed-Sat (July 15-18), with tickets from $35. If you want access on the cheap, consider volunteering. It takes a lot of volunteers to make this event happen, and the staff at the Crucible are always happy to have help. I'll be working in the Firelight Gallery Wednesday and Thursday night, so stop by and say "hi!"
UPDATE: BART is offering discount tickets ($5 off). Go to myBART.org for the details.
Image from the Crucible (Omega Recoil, photo by Jason Chinn)