On February 7th, SF Recreation and Parks denied approval of a proposed music festival in Golden Gate Park that was being organized to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love.
The proposed festival was struck down by the Parks and Recreation Department in light of "numerous ‘misrepresentations of material fact’" made by event promoter Boots Hughston.
On Thursday night, throngs of supporters filed into City Hall to protest the decision; however, much to the chagrin of the tie-dye clad crowd, the Recreation and Parks Commission stood by its decision.
Richmond Station Capt. Paul Yep voiced his concerns over the event's lack of public safety plans, calling what the organizers had proposed to be "vague" and "inconsistent."
Dana Ketchum, Rec and Park’s director of permit and property management, echoed those sentiments — she too criticized the proposed festival for lacking adequate security, police and medical plans.
Ketchum said that it was impossible to know how much police presence would be needed for the music festival given that crowd estimates ranged between 30,000 people on the permit request and 175,000 in advertised material.
Hughston, who’s already been promoting the free even to the public, said that he’ll submit another permit request.
But don’t fret, Summer of Love 50th anniversary enthusiasts. All is not lost.
There are still many smaller events in the works for this year's Summer of Love anniversary, including a major exhibit at The de Young that will run from April until August (for a complete calendar of planned events, check out the Summer of Love website).
And despite the music festival’s latest setback, the Haight Street Merchants' Association (HAMA) is still planning to light up Haight Street this summer with an effort called Light Up The Haight-Ashbury 2017.
Traditionally, HAMA puts up white lights during the holiday shopping season, but in the spirit of the Summer of Love’s 50th anniversary, the merchants thought it would be cool to do something different this summer.
Therefore, HAMA wants to add to the festive mood by stringing up colorful lights on neighborhood trees.
The Booksmith’s Christin Evans told us that while many of this summer’s anniversary plans are being collaboratively organized and funded by different groups, the Haight Street lighting project is a HAMA sponsored effort (for which the organization is currently raising money to execute).
"HAMA has over 90 dues paying members, and it was a group effort to decide what might work best,” Evans wrote to us in an email. “But Donna, from Ambiance, is doing heroine's work to get the project accomplished for us all."
"We are much appreciative for her efforts,” wrote Evans.
Stay tuned for details on this year’s Summer of Love festivities, and if you'd like to donate to Light Up The Haight-Ashbury 2017, you can visit the GoFundMe page here.
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