Music fest to rock Polo Fields

A three-day music festival at Golden Gate Park in August is expected to draw an estimated 160,000 attendees — as well as the usual neighborhood concerns about noise levels and traffic congestion.

The Outside Lands Festival, organized by Bay Area promotion group Another Planet Entertainment, will feature headlining acts Radiohead, Tom Petty and Jack Johnson over the course of three nights on Aug. 22-24.

The festival has been permitted to test the viability of Golden Gate Park hosting evening events, according to Recreation and Park Department spokeswoman Rose Marie Dennis, who said this will be the concert event at the Polo Fields that includes nighttime performances.

“All the preparations have been put in place for this to be a successful event,” Dennis said. “We conducted community outreach to make sure the locals in the area are OK with it, and they are, at least to this point.”

Ron Miguel of the neighborhood group Planning Association for the Richmond, said Rec and Park officials have been diligent in their communication with the neighborhood, but local residents are still uneasy about the event.

“There are some concerns about this being a three-day deal and the lateness of the hours,” Miguel said. “It should be interesting to see how this impacts the neighborhood, especially with all the traffic expected to flow into the area.”

Concerts, and the ensuing noise complaints, are nothing new to the residents surrounding Golden Gate Park. In 2006, neighborhood concerns resulted in The City establishing a maximum noise level — 105 decibels — at Sharon Meadow, a common locale for summer music concerts.

There are no such limits for the Polo Grounds, but a park ranger will be monitoring the noise, Dennis said. San Francisco Police Department guidelines require that sounds be inaudible beyond 250 feet beyond the boundaries of an event.

Cole Valley resident Martin Macintyre has been fighting for years for more enforcement on noise levels at Golden Gate Park.

“The park is meant to be a quiet refuge from the city,” Macintyre said. “No politicians will listen to our complaints though, because if we question the use of the park we’re considered the party poopers.”

Fees from the concert will net the Recreation and Parks Department a guaranteed $100,000, and possibly as much as $500,000 depending on the concert’s turnout, Dennis said.

Each day of the festival will run from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., with stages being held at Speedway and Lindley Meadows, along with the nightly events at the Polo Fields.

Representatives from Another Planet Entertainment would not comment publicly about the concert. Ticket information has not been announced.

wreisman@examiner.com

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