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Plan for August concerts in Golden Gate Park and free downtown San Francisco shows approved

PIX Now Afternoon Edition 9-12-23
PIX Now Afternoon Edition 9-12-23 11:33

SAN FRANCISCO -- Plans for additional ticketed concerts in Golden Gate Park following the Outside Lands Festival as well as additional free shows at three downtown locations were approved Tuesday by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. 

Under the approved agreement, Outside Lands concert promoter Another Planet Entertainment (APE) will hold two to three ticketed concerts in the Polo Fields at Golden Gate Park in August the weekend following the Outside Lands Festival for three years beginning in next year. And as part of the agreement, Another Planet will also fund free Muni rides to and from the Polo Field for concert ticket holders. 

The agreement also calls for APE to produce annual complimentary concerts at Civic Center Plaza, Union Square and Embarcadero for the next three years. 

"The concert series are projected to provide key economic benefits for San Francisco, while helping contribute to the prevention of cuts to City parks and programming," a statement in the press release issued after the Board of Supervisors approval read.     

The agreement also increases Community Benefit Funding for neighborhood-specific projects and programs in the Sunset and Richmond District. APE, which currently provides $25,000 annually to both District 1 and District 4, will increase their donation to the community funds by $10,000 per neighborhood.  

"I support the additional ticketed concerts following Outside Lands in Golden Gate Park because they will pay for the free concerts downtown, keep our parks from facing a deficit, and offer more community benefits for Sunset residents," said SF Supervisor Joel Engardio, who represents the Sunset neighborhoods. "We need more joy in San Francisco as we work to address the serious issues facing our city."  

The only no vote came from Supervisor Connie Chan, who represents the city's Richmond District that is along the park's northern border and includes a main access road to the concerts.

"I do recognize the benefits of these concerts bringing to our overall city budget and the vitality additional concerts would bring to our downtown areas," said Chan, who was the only speaker among supervisors or members of the public when the measure came to a vote and said why she nevertheless opposed the plans.

She read a list of complaints from her constituents that included residential parking availability, north-south road access, noise and crowd nuisances, including vandalism, and impact on wildlife habitat. "Those are real concerns for Richmond," Chan said. "They're probably very, very different from your constituents and how they view these concerts."

The additional concerts in the Polo Fields will have a footprint about a third the size of the Outside Lands Festival, and are planned to be smaller, headliner-focused events that utilizing some of the existing Lands End stage and infrastructure from the Outside Lands Festival to minimize impact on the park. Permit fees of $1.4 million for a two-day event or $2.1 million for a three-day event will help the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department to continue to offer programming to children, adults, and seniors across San Francisco. 

The agreement requires Another Planet to maintain the same measures to lessen noise and traffic impacts as with Outside Lands, including a community hotline for neighbors, SFMTA officers directing traffic and enforcing parking laws in the neighborhood. The promoters will offer shuttles to and from the event as well as a dedicated area for rideshare drop-off and pick-up. More information on the agreement can be found in the news release.   

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