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Taken from SFist (August 10, 2012)

Free Hippie Festival Canceled Due To Crushing Weight Of Bureaucracy

by Andrew Dalton


PTTP 2010
Power to the Peaceful Festival 2010 by Abigail Picache

Power to the Peaceful, one of several free concert events in Golden Gate Park, will fall silent for the second year in a row after organizers announced the yoga and music event was cancelled "due to rising city fees which have ballooned our operating costs."


The festival, which is meant to "inspire action" through yoga and laid back music, was last put on back in 2009 (2010 - by this reader) when organizers greatly underestimated the drawing power of Franti's chill vibe. According to the Appeal, around 80,000 people turned out for the festival's eighth annual gathering that year. Cops eventually had to pull the plug on Franti when he went five minutes over his scheduled end time of 5 p.m. Not helping their case, the clean-up crew showed up an hour late.


After going on hiatus in 2011, event promoters at Guerrilla Marketing returned to the city with a plan to limit attendance at the 2012 edition to 40,000 and charge $10 to cover the city's $94,000 in park usage fees (not including the mandatory time-and-a-half pay for off-duty SFPD officers). Unfortunately, promoters neglected to inform the festival's legions of fans that there would be both a cover charge and no tickets available at the door, even though that was a crucial part of their agreement with the city.


The whole event has been dumped at this point and the Rec and Parks Department doesn't seem too bummed about it. In an email to the Appeal one RPD spokeswoman explained, "The concert was approved and ... we were moving forward until the event host for the Power to the Peaceful decided to cancel."


For reference: Outside Lands, which charges upwards of $200 for passes to the three-day fest, paid the city $1.45 million in fees for last year's event. Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, on the other hand, only paid $130,000 in fees for three days worth of free music in the park.


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