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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Outside Lands Festival - Muni Terrible, Complaints, and Not Making Friends

The Outside Lands festival (concert) is getting some really negative reviews for its Friday evening concert, from complaints about packed Muni buses and trains, loud noise, and 30 minute waits to go to the bathroom.

First of all, I am going to post the complaint information. This is from SF 311's event calendar:

Outside Lands has a community hotline to respond to any issues that might affect the community during the festival which will be available 11 am to 11 pm on festival days (415) 387-1935.

Now, since this complaint line is private and more than likely the data they collect won't be released to the city government, here's some more information to complain:
  • To complain about Muni, call: 311.
  • To complain to your city supervisor: http://www.sfgov.org/site/bdsupvrs_index.asp and click on your supervisor for contact info.
  • To complain to the Park and Rec department who issued the permit: (415) 831-3700.


Now readers, let us view the comments from SFgate, Curbed SF, and SFist about how the event is going. This is sorted out by categories:

For Muni's terrible service:

From Fsharp of SFist:
"I just got back from the Outside Lands festivals. DO NOT RIDE THE N JUDAH TO THE SHOW THIS WEEKEND.

Sorry for the shouting but really. We waited at Embarcadero for over 30 minutes for the first N to show up at 5PM on a completely packed platform.

Once we squeezed in, it was a nightmarish 55 minute ride to 19th ave with asses and elbows everywhere. In 22 years here I've never been on a train here that crowded.

It was another 25 minute wait to get another N out and back home. Again packed and excruciatingly slow.
We left in the middle of the Radiohead show because we were so worried about getting home on Muni. (Also Radiohead's sound kept cutting out completely in mid-song).

Ride your bike or take a cab. The increased N service is a lie.

Also, if you cab it, or take Muni anyway, go to Sunset ave not 19th like it says in on the festival web site. The entrance is a long walk from 19th."

From Greg of SFist, and author of the N Judah Chronicles:
"Folks from the air it looks groovy with lots of Ns on the line in and outbound. But reports from NJC agents indicate it's a perfect storm of drunks, cars, traffic, and a lack of DPT presence.


From erik_flannestad of SFist:
"Oh, Jesus Holy Christ what a nightmare that was getting home from the Outlands concert. 2 1/2 hours from the sunset to Glen Park.

We coulda walked it in that time."

From noneyabidnis of SFist:
"I wish I would have brought my camera. My experience with Muni was miserable.

We decided to walk north and catch the number 1 at 29th and California. NextBus said 16 minutes, 39 minutes, and 39 minutes.

First bus shows up as expected, 15-17 minutes later. Completely packed. Our stop had probably 40 people at it. Bus just blew through.

So we decided to walk California inbound. Block after block of completely packed stops, everyone wondering what was going on with the buses. I'm shocked a riot didn't break out.

We walked California all the way to Maple and California (from 29th) - not one bus came on the inbound route. 4 passed going outbound.

Walked up Sacramento, and at Sacramento and Cherry there was a 43 line bus just sitting there. Completely empty, minus two people asleep in the back, and no driver. Unbelievable.

I called 311 on the treck down California and they said Muni were doing all they could. Filed a formal complaint as well. I wasn't very nice to the lady, and I feel bad now - it certainly wasn't her fault. But I did get the complaint filed... I just wish I could apologize to the nice lady I talked to.

Also sent a message to Mr. Ford, using this link:


I'll try to get some photos of the bus fiasco.

Also, 60,000+ people in attendance friday night. Let's say 20,000 people don't take the bus, that means 40 buses can take the whole crowd if they squeeze 1000 people on a bus."

From munchkin of SFist:
"Last night I walked all the way to 22nd where the 71 turns, so a bunch of us caught it before it got to the crowd of walking people on Lincoln. It wasn't planned though- we were passed by several packed N trains."

From 99paa of SFist:
"Coming back last night from radiohead, two N trains in a row wouldn't even stop to let people on -- and they were empty! the extra muni fare inspectors were yelling at muni hq on their cell phones to make the trains, you know, actually pick people up.

then one N did stop, not at an actual stop, and opened the doors. it then started moving while the last door was still open. i'm surprised nobody died.

great job, muni!"

From looist of SFist:
"Let me sum up both Muni and Outside Lands in one word: Clusterf*ck.

5 mostly jammed busses in a row (3 had space in the back, typical Muni style) flew by Fulton and Masonic, none stopped. So we walked for a while and were lucky enough to bully our way into a cab.

On the way home there was no way in hell we were getting on a bus. Every bus that passed by was full of miserable sardines.

All of the private town cars/limos and airport shuttle vans caught on but were charging exorbitant rates, $40 for 20 blocks. And they weren't willing to negotiate down.

The show itself is really poorly organized too. Such a disappointment. I hope they get their acts together today and tomorrow. Someone will probably lose their job over this."

From skeletal_lamper of SFist:
"what an absolute fiasco.

my girlfriend and i had planned to go way early at 3 pm and already at this time, buses were not picking up hordes of people at the stops. at least six 5 buses passed us on the corners of mcallister and hyde/larkin and only one was full. there was tons and tons of space on these buses on the back and drivers refused to stop. one bus stopped to drop a passenger off and didnt open the front door.

we walked to market and decided our luck on the 71 and the first one we saw was completely packed so we decided to fuck any of the lines that were supposed to "help outside lands commuters" and get to the 38 geary, which we got on on our first try.

i just read an article that festivals pay muni up to 2000 - 4000 dollars to re-route their buses when they close down streets. and these are miniscule festivals. i can only imagine what the organizers of outside lands paid muni for to get us festival-goers to the park. and they can't even do their fucking job and stop for us when the buses are half-empty.

on the way home, and this might be useful to anyone going back to the financial district or nob hill or inner richmond tonight or tomorrow, we walked back to geary and their were hordes of people waiting for the 38 without much luck. we went to the starting point of the california 1 on geary and 33rd (it faces westbound and turns on 33rd) and were able to get on it right away. however, it did not stop AT ALL for any festival goers on the way even though our bus was NOT FULL at all. what motherfuckers."

From smiley1 of SFgate:
"When Muni said to "expect delays on the N Judah" they weren't kidding. It took me almost 2 hours to get home when it usually takes me 45 min. But hey, I heard the music perfectly from my house."

From Noeist of SFgate:
"Agree with most posters. 2 1/2 hours to get home, and would usually take 45 minutes. No cabs to be found. Got on some "express bus to Civic Center" that just dumped a lot of people in the Haight. Incredible lines. Couldn't see anything at RH - way too big. This is why I don't go to these huge shows. That said, the crowd was very, very laid-back and chill, even when frustratingly waiting for N-Judah and then shoved onto buses 100 at a time headed who knows where. If I had a 3-day ticket, I'd skip the next two days, or leave at least an hour before the end to try to beat the crowds."

From sunsetsaint of SFgate:
"Has anyone blamed Muni yet? Riding the N-Judah during rush hour is, as all locals know, unbearably unpleasant every day. Yesterday it was ridiculous -- you couldn't even board because each street car was jam-packed with people who don't live here. After passing up several of the cattle cars, I finally managed to squeeze in between a bunch of scraggly characters (Was a scuzzy appearance required for festival attendance?). It took me twice as long to get home. Clearly, there was no public transit planning; special buses should have transported the festival-goers so that locals could have just suffered as usual."

From an anonymous poster of Curbed SF:
"Left the show at 9:55pm immediately after Radiohead got off the stage. Swam through hundreds of people, walked to Judah, only to find every N Judah Muni packed to the gills. Ended up walking about 20+ blocks to catch the #6 bus to Civic Center where we caught the last train to Oakland. Got back to the East Bay at about 12:30am due to maintenance on the tracks. I suspect plenty o' people missed the last BART."

From mariesnews of SFgate:
"Before the even getting to the concert. The promoters, muni and the city said to take public transit. There would be lots of extra cars and buses. What happened? The N-Judah broke down at 4th and Irving. There were already six trains there when our train arrived and there was nobody from muni to fix the problem. We ended up walking down Lincoln with hundreds of other people. In the time we walked to the event only two 71's came by and they didn't stop. WHERE were the extra buses. Once again muni lied."

Akit says: Damn, this is just Muni alone...

Now let us look at the event complaints:

From rationalgal of SFist:
"re: chainlink fences again. I thought they had been put up to keep people out, but apparently they had been put up to "funnel" people in and out of venues as well. I saw a report on the local CBS newscast this morning that there was a near stampede when too many people got crammed between the fences, and the fences had to be breached. One attendee said that they had to hop over the fence to avoid being trampled. You're right, looist, poorly organized indeed. Heads should roll. Anyone out there who was there when this happened, who can give us a firsthand account?"

From theRichmond of SFgate:
"I've lived here for over 20 years, and these are the worst folks in Golden Gate Park ever. Screaming in the streets afterwards, throwing shopping carts down the street, running stop signs. And there is absolutely no security to be seen. Hopefully, this event will never be allowed again."

From mastermikeyb of SFgate:
"NOT GREAT. 1st, they were no way prepared for this many people-the lines that people were waiting in starting with WillCall, ID Braclets, Beer/Wine, Food, Bathrooms, anything you may have wanted to do, were HORRENDOUS. To wait for 30-40 minutes to get a drink? Come on... 2nd, this was billed through the media (and JackJohnson) as a 'Leave No Trace' Evnt, but is was nothing of the sort. There was garbage EVERYWHERE. Even the guy who was giving out ID bracelets was just throwing the wrapper that was left after he attached it onto the ground. When I asked him about the fact that this was a LNT, he just shrugged and said that it would be picked up--yeah right! 3rd. The Sound by MEYER SOUND was BAD! During Radiohead alone it went COMPLETELY out 3 x during the show. Radiohead kept playing, but no one could hear a thing. 4th. Overlapping Artists sets is bad enough, but trying to get from one stage to another was silly. I give this a 2 out of 10. They could do MUCH better!"

From mcmunchkin of SFgate:
"The multiple recycling/garbage/composting bins were well planned, but other more important considerations were not. They closed off the entire bank of 30 porta-potties near the Radiohead (main) stage. The line for the normal park bathrooms was over half an hour. The other bank of porta-potties on the Polo green was near the only narrow path to get from the Polo grounds to the Sutro stage. This thing was dangerous. The fence was down, so there was pointy metal the entire way, with people pushing through a narrow 20 foot gap, anxious to get to the next band in time. People were desperate for bathrooms. They were running past the guards through the woods just trying to find a place to pee. Anyone there for Saturday and Sunday should give themselves a lot of bathroom time, because I doubt they fixed both those situations overnight. Radiohead was awesome, except when the sound cut out twice."

From adampasz of SFgate:
"Major disappointment. It tried to be Coachella, but failed. I was looking forward to *seeing* Beck and Radiohead, and I couldn't due to the enormous crowds. Whoever was in charge of scheduling for this thing should be fired. The 1st half of the event was packed with bands, so there was no way to catch most of them; the 2nd half of the night was dedicated just to Radiohead. So you have 50,000+ people all trying to cram into the front of the Polo Fields because there's nothing else to do. There was a tiny video screen that looked about 32x32 pixels in resolution. At $100 this was a rip-off, and I would urge people not to attend if they haven't bought tickets yet. You can just sit outside the concert, in the woods, and get the same experience of hearing but not seeing your favorite bands. I agree with the other posters that the crowd was very mellow, and I didn't see people trashing stuff. I was surprised by all the smokers -- cough."

From manyboymom of SFgate:
"Just drove through GGP at 8 am and the park is trashed! Garbage everywhere. Not sure how they got a permit for the music to be so loud - I love radiohead but that was ridiculous. I think the neighborhood has had enough of these mega events. Leave no trace my a**."

From sluefootsue of SFgate:
"I spoke to the head of Park and Rec yesterday to complain. No environmental impact report was required by the city and the Parks and Rec decided that, even thoug their job is to be guardians of the parks, they would't require one either. Basically, the Parks and Rec are selling a public area to the highest bidder. And why isn't the Chronicle or other media covering the frustration and anger at the poor planning by the concert promoter? This type of greedy dismissiveness endangers the park, its wildlife, and the surrounding neighborhood. Bluegrass in the Park does a wonderful job in contrast. And it's free for the public on public lands!"

From inkandpaint of SFgate:
"This was a fail. Beck's stage was sloped downhill so nobody could see him. the narrow walkway back to the polo fields for radiohead was crammed and people tore down the fences. radiohead was good but the sound cut out. there were lines everywhere. poorly planned. i bought a three day ticket but won't be going back"

From jjups of SFgate:
"This was one of the worst put together shows ever. In comparison to Jazzfest in New Orleans which charges less and offers way more, your $100 got you nothing but headaches. Moving around the grounds was so bad that people had to start ripping down fences to move from one venue to another. I am not going to even begin talking about the lines to get anything."

From JANDEK of SFgate:
"Overall, I give the festival a 2 out of 10 as well. The audio during Radiohead cutting out twice at an event that costs what it does is unacceptable. Luckily for the concert promoters, their performance was a 10, otherwise it would have got a 1 or 0. The overlapping bands playing all over the park was the worst bit of planning, it made it impossible to see multiple bands. The trash everywhere and the ridiculous lines for everything just point to an amateur hour operation. Outlands Festival=Fired"

From jmusick of SFgate:
"Though the crowd did a good job at remaining calm - there were moments that people were on the verge of panic/fights about crushing/trampling. As the crowds left Beck and tried to push towards the front for Radiohead, there were many people at the front that were getting scared and started frantically trying to exit. Don't know what other places do in that situation, but it was by far the closest I've been to crowd-panic because of inability to move anywhere."

From Nezumi of SFgate:
"This was the LOUDEST concert in the Polo Field in over 25 years. I had to turn the volume on my TV up to around 8 (usually on 2) in order to hear anything. Why doesn't the City think about using McLaren Park for large events? Why do all these events have to impact the Richmond and Sunset districts? Spread the love, noise and mess around. Concertgoers, when you are walking back to your cars or to the veritable missing MUNI, please do not shout when talking to the person 18 inches away from you. I heard all of your conversations through double paned glass. Promoter, hire a third-party transportation company. MUNI only makes around 69% of their normally scheduled runs, adding more makes the natives angrier than they already are. FYI, MUNI stands for Maybe U Not Important."

From birdwomansf of SFgate:
"Nezumi-you must be my neighbor. I could not believe the volume. My house felt like it was shaking. Ridiculous. Think of the effect on the poor animals in the park that were freaked out. No to next year. Find somewhere else. No to night time performances. Total disregard for the neighbors, the animals and the environment. This is suppose to be a park."

From rwaring of SFgate:
"For many of the fans, the only way out was to exit the field through the two north and and south narrow tunnels. At the south tunnel, as several thousand people were pushing toward the south tunnel, many in the crowd talked about the risk of a stampede. This situation was insane and was poorly planned. Finally, the crowd knocked down some fences and streamed over the hill. A nest of bees then began to swarm and scores of fans were stung. Because of fences around where the bees were, there was no way around the swarm. My wife got stung twice. This all would have been avoided if the crowd had more exits without bottlenecks."

From jfm of SFgate:
"Outside Lands was a disaster, salvaged only by the greatness of Radiohead. Note that all complaints about the lines, the crowds, the poor planning get nearly all thumbs up. I GUARANTEE there was AT LEAST 80,000 people in there - in violation of their permit. The promoters must have decided the (understandably) weak sales for Sat and Sun (portending a money losing FAILURE) could be buttressed by OVERSELLING Friday. Ridiculous. Half the crowd we had would have been bearable. It should be about perfect Sat and Sunday, where weaker lineups will draw smaller crowds."

From thenisaid of SFgate:
"I stood in line during Beck's whole show to get a beer. That didn't matter, though, because you couldn't see him- no screens and someone placed a large white tent in a terrible spot. There were way too many people, definitely not worth $85. And leaving the event was impossible; ended up having to walk from 25th ave all the way to Haight and Masonic. Radiohead was great but that's about it."

From sftroybob of SFgate:
"Don't be surprised if this turns out to be one of those shows where people are killed by being crushed in the crowd. Despite that lesson being learned time and again, the organizers here are doing no kind of crowd control, and they're leaving the main act for one stage at the end of the night, with the audience areas not divided up and with nobody else playing at the same time, pretty much guaranteeing that there is going to be a crush of people from the very back that is going to hit the front in waves."

From hennessymade of SFgate:
"This festival was a disappointment. The scheduling was bad, the park was completely over-crowded, and the amount of people peeing all over the park (due to lack of restrooms) was disgusting. I feel sorry for the people who have to clean up after this disaster. The bands I saw were fantastic, but getting anywhere near the stage was impossible. I'm not paying for this next year."

From jcfinsf of SFgate:
"The music was terrific (save the inexcusable dropped sound during Radiohead), and everyone seemed up for having a good time. A bit on the cool side, too, but hey, it's August and the fog looked cool under the lights. But, come on, it's fair to admit that the organizers were in way, way over their heads last night. The lines were awful and the planning for moving hordes of people about insane. The path between the Polo Field and Sutro stage area was about twenty yards wide. Of course, in the middle of that path, too, was the largest collection of bathrooms. And then you had tens of thousands trying to get through that confined area with just ten minutes between Beck and Radiohead at different stages. Why? I overheard a few of the medics talking that there could be a first-class emergency there if luck wasn't on their side. Luck was: people just knocked over the fencing and hiked it every which way. And security? It needed to be doubled. I'd say this event has little chance of an encore"

From briansabeans of SFgate:
"As someone who lives on 25th and Irving, this thing sucked. No I didn't care about the noise -- I had no problem with being able to hear free Radiohead while sitting at home. No, my problem was the ridiculous crowds. You simply could not get around the neighborhood whatsoever. Parking was impossible. Utter scuzzbuckets were everywhere...or were they? Actual genuine trash wouldn't have been able to afford these tickets, so it was probably just a bunch of rich Marin kids dressed like bums and acting like criminals. I have no problem if they do this again so long as they figure out a way to keep the streets unclogged. The Sunset is simply not built to accomodate this kind of crowd."

From southbaygurl of SFgate:
"I hope the organizers read these comments. I went for Radiohead and Beck, couldn't see a thing! Beck had no screens and the screens at Radiohead were ridiculously small. The lines for IDs were stupid long (skipped them all together) and the lines for the porta potties were long, and they were nasty. Getting in and out of the park on public transport was a mess. We walked for an hour and 1/2 after the show before being able to get transport. There was no directional signage in or around the festival. So glad I didn't buy a 3-day ticket. And they'd have to have a huge headliner like Radiohead for me to consider going back next year. Someone should talk to the organizers of Coachella. It's a much larger festival (more talent, more attendees) and runs like a well-oiled machine (with clean porta potties). Sad, but maybe GG park just can't handle this sort of event."

From catalystgrrl of SFgate:
"It was truly crap. The sound went out 3 times in the middle of Radiohead's set. The crowd was aggro. Garbage everywhere. Whoever planned the event had absolutely zero forethought. After an hour's wait in line at the ATM (which one of five worked occasionally) and then an hour's wait for a beer, I was kindly told I needed to wait in the hour long line for an ID bracelet, only to get back in the hour long line for a beer, miss the entire Beck show because it was all the way across the park on the other side, through which 60,000 people were expected to pass through an unreasonable thoroughfare... Really awful. I'll never go again. To anything. Ever. [okay I'll totally be at hardly strictly bluegrass ( ;]"

From fingafing of SFgate:
"I could hear this last night & I live over 1 mile away from the Park. The entire area is one big garbage dump - who is paying for the cleanup, taxpayers or the promoter?"

From sfhinsf of SFgate:
"I live TWELVE blocks from the stage. It's clear that no one realizes that this area of the park is a bowl and like a natural loudspeaker -- much more so when it's FOGGY. is HIGH in my house with windows close. I like music and I like a lot of these bands -- but imagine THREE days (sound checks started at 1 p.m. on Friday) of this from 1 p.m.l to 10 p.m.? Plus I have to park in my driveway for 3 days -- or odds are someone will block me in. Ending at 10 p.m. means people drunk loud on street until midnight -and we're in quiet neighborhoods. Plus, I run in the pk everyday -- fences us everywhere since Weds. & will be till end of Mon. We already to Bay to Breakers, the Marathon, Hardly Strictly and many other events that are a lot of hassle in this hood. How come Hardly Strictly has to stop at 8 p.m., but these guys don't? They're right, the City doesn't care about Park or residents -- it's just TOTAL GREED -- and NO parking. I chose to buy in a quiet 'hood -- not next to PacBell Park!"

Another from sfhinsf of SFgate:
"I run in the Park about 5 days a week...past Lloyld Lake, through Speedway, 2 or 3 times around Polo Field. You have NO IDEA the destruction that these shows do. It's a nightmare -- esp. the HUGE HEAVY trucks that drive over grass and trails and leave DEEP ruts that are still there in rainy season...when the ground turns into concrete...so we end up with ridege 4 & 5" high to run over. Ruin the lawns. Golden Gate Park is one of San Francisco's greatest treasures, but because it's "way out there" on the West Side, no one gives a damn. Hello! It's the backyard for an awful lot of people -- and I'm not sure you'd like to see your backyard trashed 5 or 6 times a year Yeah, I want the Park to be used -- and I like concerts here. But one of this size, with this many acts, attacting this many people and three days long is NOT appropriate. Hardly Strictly is mostly acoustic and attracts a very different crowd."

From dumbnative of SFgate:
"it is evident that the park and reck is no better then the bus at city hall. They sell their mothers soul to the devil. I wonder what sombody got out of this? To close off that much of the park for more then three days and disrupt two residential neighborhood with traffic and noise it's not except able. Evedently the two stupervisors of the distric age sent to the park dont give a hoot about their constituents. They probably got a nice campaing contribution."

From bigthings of SFgate:
"I was attacked by a swarm of angry bees on my way out! I was stung three times. Talk about a buzz kill!"

From hawky of SFgate:
"Expect more of this type of park use from Rec & Park (Wreck the Park) They'll sell their soul to earn a few bucks and pimp out our beautiful park like a cheap whore. Pity the gardeners who will try to heal this damage to the landscape. Oh, and Chron: ask the beat gardeners about the massive damage the set-up did to the park's irrigation system. At least at the free shows there is no need for fences so no metal fence poles driven through the water lines. Will the bond put forth by the concert company even cover all the damage done? Just ask Yomi, he's a numbers man."

From luvfothaset of SFgate:
"It's a blessing no one got hurt. I was in the middle of the crowd at WOMAD when Beastie Boys came to GG Park. They had two stages that were next to each other, but fans still rush from to the other. That is when it gets ugly and people start getting crushed and panicking. Needless to say it got ugly and I literally feared for my life. I was about 5 seconds away from climbing over people. Luckily people started shouting 'Walk away!! Walk Away!!' and the crowd started to de-compact. But with this many people it is like an ocean of energy with currents and swells. Just don't get caught in a tide pool. I hate crowds now and try to avoid these types of venues where you need binoculars. I can still remember girls screaming and being trapped."

From bobsicle of SFgate:
"I'm at Geary and 25th avenue, INSIDE an apartment, and I can hear the sound. I had sort of forgotten about the festival, so I actually thought my upstairs neighbor was playing his stereo loud, which struck me as odd because he is so quiet. Only when I went outside and still heard the noise did I remember, oh, right... that festival. Fortunately, I didn't move my car. As usual, the bridge and tunnel crowd invade like a horde of Mongols, parking illegal everywhere."

From bigbite of SFgate:
"None of these bands are worth the ticket price,they should call it the RIP OFF FESTIVAL."

From AmericanMark of SFgate:
""Environmental" groups sponsoring the trashing of the park? Ridiculous. But these groups are just a business, like any other. The dollar is their bottom line."

From mailbean of SFgate:
"Some neighbors were none too happy"? Somehow I think that's a serious understatement. I live somewhere around half a mile from this thing, and yet I can still hear it. It's on the other side of the park, and yet hundreds of kids are still crowding my streets, hanging around, loitering, doing who knows what. This area is usually fairly quiet: home to a large number of seniors, working people, and young children. This ridiculous event has made a outlaying residential area look like a busy downtown area and feel like the middle of a riot zone."

From bobsicle of SFgate:
"rdframe -- "it is only a three day festival. Any damage done was minor compared to the revenue (MILLIONS) brought in by the event both from the organizers and from the associated tourist." Exactly WHAT revenue are you talking about? The promoters made their money and the bands got paid. What's left over? The tourists spent nothing that wasn't on the event itself. So what money are you talking about? As is typical for these events, the amount the city collects isn't enough even for the cleanup."

From therichmond of SFgate:
"The park is trashed. There are people screaming and fighting in the streets up here as this even lets out, and then they are trashing the houses. The public services are over taxed - no buses, police or even taxis for us locals. I doubt if the City will be able to cover its expenses. And worst of all, no one is spending money at the businesses. The regulars are staying away from the restaurants because of the crowds and no one from the event is replacing them. GOOD JOB!"

OK now, let's sum this whole crap hole up. Muni was totally unreliable with packed vehicles, scams happening with those luxury cars and airport vans charging an arm and leg for only 20 blocks worth of driving, cab drivers refusing to pick-up people in the event area, huge lines so that you can get your $7 beer, near stampedes, broken down fences, and over capacity crowds.



TK said...

Akit -

Great job conglomerating all the complaints into one place. Interesting reading, and now I'm reconsidering going on Sunday.

Just one small point - I'm not sure who the "billionaire" is who you think created the festival. It was put on by Another Planet and a company from New Orleans, I think. I don't believe any particular "billionaire" was involved.

Maybe you're thinking of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, which was created and paid for by Warren Hellman, who certainly is a billionaire. I've heard mostly positive reviews of that event, though.

Akit said...


Thanks, I corrected it.

Anonymous said...

I'm so,so sorry I didn't take a picture or two of the mass logjam between the Polo Field and the meadow stages area. I was up on the hill and could see people pressed together not moving at all. I finally saw that the fence constraining everyone had been knocked over and people walking through the woods. On our way that direction, my wife and I used the woods, and then found ourselves rushed by a swarm that was running down, in the other direction, to get closer to Beck. Chaos. The whole situation was a hair from being a human tragedy and a black eye on the city of San Francisco for years.

Whole Wheat Toast said...


Anonymous said...

I am really surprised to read so many negative reports about pretty much every aspect of the festival.

I've been to Coachella and Bonnaroo, and now Outsidelands, and I had a really nice time. The weather was lovely, Golden Gate Park was the most beautiful setting for a festival I've ever seen, and I really enjoyed Tom Petty, Wilco, Jack Johnson, Radiohead, etc.

I thought it was pretty clean too, compared to how Bonnaroo looked after Kanye angered everybody and it was completely trashed. The lines weren't too bad getting around, bathrooms, food, etc. I never waited more than a few minutes for anything.

If I would change stuff, I'd make it easier to get around- some of those stages were spread SOOO far apart. That was a hassle.

Public transportation was difficult but I don't know what you expected. events like this are ALWAYS going to overwhelm trains, subways, streets, roads, etc.

I'm sorry to hear that the music levels disturbed the local residents, but come on! the music was over by 10pm each night!
Did you know at Bonnaroo, music goes on until 4am sometimes?

10pm seems like a very reasonable curfew time to me, that respects the neighbors and their right to have some quiet time.

Anyways, I'm sorry to see that so many people had such a negative experience of the weekend.

Akit said...

More opinions here:

Anonymous said...

Worst problem? Waiting in will call on Friday night for over an hour. The concert promoters were completely unprepared and even though I got there around 6 pm, I didn't get into the festival until after Radiohead started. That is just wrong.

Greg said...

I was astonished to see MUNI promise extra 71s which would have alleviated the problem somewhat, and instead choose to run fewer 71s when they needed them the most. I mean, Wtf?

It does not help that this time of year is when MUNI operators decide to just not bother to show up to work and not tell anyone until the last minute.

taylor said...

Granted this is the place where all the complaints seem to be getting dumped, but I personally had a great time. The overcrowding Friday night was a concern, but it had thinned out noticeably on Saturday and Sunday which made for a better overall experience. I've been to Hardly Strictly on days when it seemed more crowded than Sunday.

Anyone complaining about unopposed time slots for headliners is naive about the way the festival business works. Radiohead deserved to have an audience all to themselves (and to not have the sound cut out).

Yes you could hear the music many blocks away, but it was finished by 10pm every night so that shouldn't be worth complaining about in my opinion. My biggest concern was the trash as it did not look like people were always picking up after themselves.

Hoff said...

I have to say to all the sunset/richmond residents complaining about the noise and crowds... you live in a big(ish) city, near a huge multi-use urban park. If you didn't think that there would be a few events a year that were going to cause you a little inconvenience, you clearly didn't think at all. Don't want people taking up all the parking and making noise? Live in a suburb. Oh, no, you could actually hear something someone else was doing? You live in a city! Give me a break, NIMBYs.

That said, the fencing situation was horribly designed and hugely dangerous, and there weren't nearly enough vendors or garbage cans to deal with the crowds. That was horrible planning. I seriously hope that Another Planet has to pay (or has already paid) to repair ALL damage done to the park from the event.

Anonymous said...

Transit was a mess Fri night, lines were WAY too long everywhere, and it should have been much easier to get from stage to stage.

That being said, I'll be really disappointed if it doesn't go on next year. I had a great time, and like someone else said, I can't imagine a more beautiful setting for a concert festival. Looking down at the ocean while Wilco played was one of the coolest things I've seen in a little while. Great weekend.