The San Francisco Board of Supervisors Land Use & Economic Development Committee, consisting of Supervisors Mar, Cohen, and Wiener, will hear public comment on the impact that large events have on the neighborhoods surrounding Golden Gate Park on Monday, February 13. Some of San Francisco's finest events take place in Golden Gate Park: Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Outside Lands, and Power to the Peaceful, to name a few. These events are vital to the city of San Francisco for a number of reasons:
1. Concerts are, for many, the first time they experience live music. Families are often seen in the park enjoying music in a natural environment and that tradition is passed on to their children.
2. While we are taking a strong position that events belong in the park, we also understand that there are things that event organizers can do better. Characterizing these events as only “creating unacceptable noise, traffic congestion, illegal camping and damage to Golden Gate Park” misses the most important part of having a lively and diverse city and the fact that Rec and Park and the event community is committed to doing the best job possible every time.
3. We all are here in San Francisco to enjoy the diversity of the entire experience. We cannot allow the few days of music in Golden Gate part to be curtailed or eliminated simply because out of 365 days in the year there are a number of days of inconvenience. The park system is a resource that is to be used for all kinds of events and for all kinds of respectful people.
4. Saying that music does not belong in the park is tantamount to saying that horses or bikes don’t belong, or cars, or people or kids or dogs. We agree that too much of any one use is not healthy, but the limited days of park use for music events is hardly out of balance with the majority of days where no music events happen at the Park.
5. Those who love music in the parks are tax payers just like those who moved in near the parks and now seek to close them to music events. The music community asks that the few music event days in the park continue given how few days neighbors are ever inconvenienced.
6. People who attend concerts at the park contribute money directly to the park system of upkeep and cleaning. Unlike the casual walker who contributes nothing directly to the park system, these concert attendees have created income to the parks that has kept important programs alive that would have shuttered in the budget crisis without the income derived from events.
Please sign our petition to the SF Board of Supervisors Land Use & Economic Development Committee. In addition, consider calling or writing to the Supervisors on the Committee directly. Their names, email addresses, and phone numbers are listed below. Please remember to always be respectful and positive about the contributions of these events to all of us in San Francisco. If you email, please write "Support Live Music in the Park" in the subject line.
Supervisor Mar: 415-554-7410, Eric.L.Mar@sfgov.org
Supervisor Cohen: 415-554-7670, Malia.Cohen@sfgov.org
Supervisor Wiener: 415-554-6968, Scott.Wiener@sfgov.org
Event organizers, in cooperation with the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, are committed to working with neighbors to lessen the inconveniences of crowds, limited parking, and street closures. These events take place during a limited number of days during the year and the positive impact to the surrounding neighborhood far outweighs the temporary and limited inconveniences. In addition, the fees that are paid go directly to the Rec and Parks Department to use to maintain this shared resource.
It would be a tragedy if a small but vocal group of residents was allowed to lessen the number of events in the park or to eliminate them completely. Having music in the park is a public good, a fact that anyone looking at the hundreds of thousands of smiling faces during these concerts can see.