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Monday, August 24, 2009

SF Residents - How to Survive Outside Lands

Get your aspirin ready because hell is starting this Friday through the end of Sunday. OK, actually it starts this Thursday at 8PM.

As you may recall from last year, Akit's Complaint Department was the lead opposition against the Outside Lands for such major problems as:
  • Overselling tickets to the point where people were breaking down fences to get around the festival.
  • Failure to give proper road closure information to SF 311, 511, city supervisors' offices, and the local police stations.
  • Destroying the park's irrigation system.
  • Massive amounts of litter in the park.
  • Muni overcrowding and overloading.
  • Limo companies illegally trying to pick-up passengers and ripping them off in cost.
  • Loud and drunk people doing their "business" at people's homes.
  • Noise so loud, you can hear it a mile away from the event site.
Read the stories that grabbed me over 500 visitors a day, and lasted for nearly a week:
No Park Street Closure Information
Muni Terrible, Complaints, and Not Making any Friends
Goodbye, Get Lost, and Never Come Back


This year, I am still opposed to this event. The city is the pimp and basically sold their beautiful park for a cool $1.5 million dollars for a few years to literally rack up costs that will nearly meet or exceed the money being raked in.

Once again, there will be tons of people going to Golden Gate Park, playing loud music late into the night, and leaving the area on public transit. If you think this is going to be pretty, expect the worst.

Outside of the negative crap, I will acknowledge some improvements versus last year's mess:
  1. Tons of signage are on lamp posts all around Golden Gate Park and points towards major event entry points and main exits to streets.
  2. Golden Gate Park finally installed street name signs at nearly every intersection (something we citizens have been begging for decades).
  3. Shuttles, thank god, private shuttles.
  4. Mass mailed every resident in the Richmond and Sunset districts about the event, with at least two weeks notice. The letter is basically this website page from SF Outside Lands.

Here's Akit's guide for neighborhood residents to survive Outside Lands:

If you get ticked-off by something gone wrong from Friday through Sunday, call their community hotline at: (415) 933-6901 (number fixed).

Akit suggests you should also contact your city supervisor. If you have Muni problems or witness cab and limo drivers ripping people off, call 311 (415-701-2311).

Remember, reporting to public officials goes on public records (Sunshine Ordinance); calling Outside Land's public hotline may not be considered part of public records.

Almost all Golden Gate Park road entry points will shut-down at 8PM this Thursday and will re-open at 11PM on Sunday. I say, expect the park roads to re-open much later, say early Monday morning before the commuters take Chain of Lakes. Road closure info here.

Since Outside Lands starts on FRIDAY, you should make some alternate plans to ride MUNI to work, SF State, public school, or wherever it goes near Golden Gate Park. Avoid the following Muni lines (in no particular order):
  • 5-Fulton **SEVERE IMPACT**
  • 71-Haight/Noriega
  • 71L-Haight/Noriega Limited
  • 28L-19th Avenue Limited
  • 29-Sunset
  • N-Judah **SEVERE IMPACT**
Alternate lines to ride:
  • All Muni express buses like the 16X, 31 AX and BX, 38AX and BX (weekday peak hours only).
  • 6-Parnassus (inner Sunset residents)
  • 18-46th Avenue (outer Sunset residents, in exchange for the 29-Sunset)
  • 31-Balboa (Richmond district residents)
  • 38-Geary (everyday) and 38L-Geary Limited (doesn't operate on Sundays)
  • 43-Masonic
  • 66 Quintara and transfer to 6-Parnassus at 9th Avenue (all Sunset residents)
If you live near the concert site, or somewhere close to Golden Gate Park (even if away from the main site), park your car on the street Friday and don't plan to move it until Monday. If you have a garage, good for you (and bad for me).

If you must drive, definitely stay away from these East-West direction streets.
  • Fulton
  • Cabrillo
  • Balboa (maybe)
  • Lincoln
  • Irving (it's always crowded with the merchants on those blocks from 25th Avenue to 19th Avenue)
  • Judah
If you are trying to go North-South, you can still drive through:
  • 19th Avenue (GG Park South) via Crossover Drive to North entrances 25th Avenue and Park Presidio. EXPECT DELAYS.
  • Great Highway; but JFK Drive entrance closed, and you won't have a lot of luck parking at Ocean Beach or Beach Chalet.
  • Stanyan (east edge of GG Park)
Outside Lands has promised at least two tow trucks and a parking officer dedicated to both the Richmond and Sunset districts. While this sounds like a nice thing to do, remember the parking officer will be overloaded and may not be able to address issues such as a car blocking your driveway because hundreds of others will complain too.

If you need to take care of any business, from grabbing breakfast at your favorite dim sum restaurant, or buying groceries, do it in the early morning. Less traffic congestion equals a brighter day.

And if you decide to sequester yourself at home, I don't mind playing against you online on my Xbox 360.


If you have any suggestions on how to survive Outside Lands this weekend, post a comment!


Added information as of 11:45AM on Saturday, August 29, 2009:

Your rights as a San Francisco citizen during Outside Lands:
  1. You have the right to complain to your district supervisor, police department, mayor's office, or any other appropriate city agency.
  2. You have the right to have your complaint heard by a competent individual and you shall expect a response within a timely manner.
  3. If you need help, call 311. If you believe the information they provided to you sounds incorrect or unhelpful, either hang-up and call again, or demand a supervisor. If they refuse to take complaints on certain matters regarding the event, keep cramming it down their throats until the report is filed.
  4. Any comments, suggestions and complaints filed with a city agency, including SFPD, DPT, and 311 are considered public records under the Sunshine Ordinance. Calling Outside Land's hotline may not be considered as "part of the record."
  5. If you notice limo or towncar drivers trying to pick-up passengers "on-demand," this is illegal under San Francisco law. Take down their plate and their unique chauffeur vehicle number on their rear bumper and call 311.
  6. If you still hear concert music beyond 10PM, the end of the day's event, report it to your city supervisor and police department.
  7. If you notice something shady going on in your neighborhood, don't sit on it, and give the cops a call.


Rachel said...

Actually, I live in the Richmond and have not received anything. It's okay, because I know what's going on, but makes me wonder if they didn't send notices to more of us.

Greg said...

Excellent Work, Akit! I am going to link to your page as part of a roundup I'll publish tomorrow along with suggested bars, etc people should check out as long as they're in the neighborhood.

Still trying to figure out how to make a buck off the masses, maybe I should get a cooler and sell water for 3 bucks a pop or something.

Akit said...

Rachel: You may have accidentally thrown it in the trash. I almost did.

The return address says: "Another Planet Entertainment" and that's the parent company of Outside Lands.

Anonymous said...

Sunset resident two blocks from the park here. Didn't get anything in the mail either. I don't think I would have tossed it, I was looking out for it and am aware that Another Planet puts on the event.

Akit said...

The exact same wording of the letter is posted here:


Rachel said...

Thanks, Akit!
Another way to survive Outside Lands is to go to a show unaffiliated with the festival. I plan on going to a couple of shows this weekend, at the du Nord. There is a lot going on this weekend, I encourage everyone to check the listings at their favorite music venue here in SF.

Anonymous said...

I have to say, my biggest complaint about the event is that many attendees from out of the state or area, arrive days before the event to take the community street parking, leaving homeowner's no place to park their vehicles when they finally make their way back through all the nightmare traffic. Last year, I went 6-7 blocks out in every direction, and found no parking in sight. Fortunately, the outer sunset folk are great and let me use a left-over personal space!