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KaBoom music event takes tunes south

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KaBoom will have a new home this year, moving from The Embarcadero to Candlestick Point.

The venue change was announced Monday by KFOG, the radio station that hosts the event that is in its 17th year. The switch comes after Port of San Francisco officials in October banned heavy vehicles from the concert’s traditional location at piers 30 and 32 following an incident in which the pier buckled under the weight of a cargo truck.

The concert and fireworks show’s Embarcadero location provided an accessible destination for people from around the Bay Area to come watch with or without a ticket, but public transportation to Candlestick is limited to one major Muni line.

“We’ll have to do shuttles or something that the 49ers already do for their games,” KFOG spokeswoman Sheri Nelson said. “We encourage carpooling, but there’s a ton of parking.”

Organizers for the event — which attracted about 20,000 people last year — are taking the opportunity to make it more like a festival, Nelson said.

“I can’t stress enough, this is the only venue where we could do this,” she said. “We just took a huge portion of the 49ers’ parking lot. You have to be able to see the Bay and the barge and fireworks.”

Now that there aren’t any limits on how many people can attend or how much space can be used, organizers invited local artists to perform in an area away from the main stage. Also, there will be more booths for children, such as for face painting and games, Nelson said.

This year’s price is the same — $15 in advance and $20 at the door — and the extra room is allowing KFOG to admit kids under 2 years old for free. 

But some waterfront residents who have enjoyed the show for free in years past say it’s not worth making the trek to Candlestick Park.

“What [waterfront neighbors] really will miss is a great reason to invite our friends and families into our home and neighborhoods to celebrate events along our historic waterfront,” local resident Marty Coressel said.


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