City prepares for Outside Lands Festival

The usual assortment of trees, animals and exercise enthusiasts in Golden Gate Park has a new backdrop this week: large swaths of chain-link fence.

The temporary barriers, which went up last weekend, are in preparation for the upcoming Outside Lands Festival, a three-day music event that kicks off in the park Friday.

The festival, which will feature Radiohead, Tom Petty, Jack Johnson and some 60 other bands, is the first paid concert of its size in the history of Golden Gate Park, and the first to have nighttime performances.

Depending on the amount of paying customers, the Recreation and Park Department could gain anywhere from $400,000 to $1.2 million from the event, according to agency officials.

With some 60,000 fans expected daily and tickets going at $225 (not including additional fees), the event’s organizers are keen on preventing any wanderers from catching a free act.

According to festival organizers, some 10 miles of fencing has been put up around the park, closing off the large, central area bordered by Middle, John F. Kennedy, Chain of Lakes and Transverse drives.

Within those boundaries, certain spots have been chained off to prevent the crowds from causing damage to wildlife areas.

The large portions of fenced-off areas have many local residents questioning the appropriateness of a private concert being held on public land, said Ray Holland, president of the Planning Association for the Richmond.

“The concert will prevent anyone — not just Richmond residents — from enjoying significant portions of this wonderful public park if the fee required for admission to it is not paid,” said Holland, who lives nearby at 17th Avenue and Carbillo Street.

“I ride my bike through the park every morning, and like everyone else I’m forced to adjust to the changes,” he said.

The fencing was initially put up Saturday — almost one week before the festival begins, said Steven Freener, who is head of the operations for the festival.

He said the festival organizers needed that time to start setting up the small city of stages, tents and portable toilets required for an event so large. Until about Wednesday, many of the most-used pathways within the area remained open, he said.

Bicyclist Stan Lekach of Noe Valley had to divert his usual cycling route Wednesday to avoid the dozens of trucks, hundreds of workers and miles of fenced-off areas.

“This is definitely a strain on the area, but maybe it’s worth it if it earns the park some money,” he said.

kworth@sfexaminer.com

Examiner Staff Writer Will Reisman contributed to this report.

Outside Lands

Muni will run extra 5-Fulton and 71-Noriega buses and N-Judah light-rail trains before and after the Outside Lands festival.

To get to the concert

  • Take 5-Fulton to 30th or 36th avenues and Fulton Street
  • Take 71-Noriega to 23rd Avenue and Lincoln Way
  • Take N-Judah to Sunset Boulevard

After the concert

  • Take 5-Fulton at 36th Avenue and Fulton Street at 30th Avenue (to McAllister and Seventh streets)
  • Take 71-Noriega at Lincoln Way at 41st Avenue and Lincoln Way at 25th Avenue (to Eighth and Market streets)
  • Take N-Judah at Sunset Boulevard (runs to Caltrain station)
  • Last extra service will be at midnight

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