City Plan Would Bring More Music to Golden Gate Park

Smaller, headliner-focused concerts would be held weekend following Outside Lands
May 12, 2023

San Francisco, CA San Francisco Mayor London Breed today announced that the City is planning to bring more summer concerts to Golden Gate Park beginning next year. If approved, the two to three days of headliner-driven events would be held on the weekend following the annual Outside Lands festival.    

On Thursday, San Francisco Recreation and Park Commissioners will vote whether to recommend the Board of Supervisors approve a permit for Another Planet Entertainment (APE) to hold ticketed concerts at the Golden Gate Park Polo Fields for three years starting in 2024. While APE produces Outside Lands, the concerts would be separate, smaller events produced by APE. They would use a portion of the festival’s infrastructure, which would be left in place to minimize impact on the park.     

The City’s permit fees, $1.4 million for a two-day event and $2.1 million for a three-day event, would allow the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department to continue to offer programming to children, adults and seniors across the City and care for its facilities. The City currently faces a two-year budget deficit of $780 million.      

In contrast to the festival format of Outside Lands, which features celebrations of the Bay Area’s culinary, art, beer, wine, sustainability and cannabis scenes, the proposed concerts would focus on a single headliner with multiple supporting acts.  The event’s footprint would be significantly smaller than Outside Lands—limited mainly to the Polo Fields, with Lindley Meadow used only for bag check and tickets. While 75,000 people per day attend the three-day Outside Lands, crowds at the additional concerts would be capped at 65,000 per day under the proposed agreement.     

"I’m excited to explore this new opportunity for live music in Golden Gate Park with Another Planet Entertainment while supporting our parks and recreation programming," said Mayor Breed. "Music has been a vital part of the park's history, from the Summer of Love to the annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass and Outside Lands festivals of today. These kinds of events bring excitement to our City, show off the beauty of our parks, and help support our local economy.”   

The proposed footprint would include a main stage on the western end of the Polo Fields, food and beverage booths, VIP and ADA viewing platforms, video monitoring screens, and portable restrooms.    

“One of the best things about San Francisco is the ability to enjoy world class concerts in awe-inspiring outdoor venues,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “The revenue from these events is also critical to providing well-maintained parks, playgrounds and rec centers, as well as programming for kids and seniors.”     

The proposed concerts would be held from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. over two to three days the weekend after Outside Lands, which is typically held the first or second weekend in August. It would include a main stage on the western end of the Polo Fields, food and beverage booths, VIP and ADA viewing platforms, video monitoring screens, and portable restrooms.      

The agreement, if approved, would require APE to maintain the same measures to lessen noise and traffic impacts as with Outside Lands, including a community hotline for neighbors, SFMTA officers directing traffic and enforcing parking laws in the neighborhood, offering shuttles to and from the event, and a dedicated area for rideshare drop-off and pick-up.   

APE has partnered with the City for 15 years on Outside Lands. The festival has injected over a billion dollars into San Francisco’s economy since its inception.