SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — With the first notes of the annual Outside Lands festival in Golden Gate Park less than 24 hours away, San Francisco officials are focusing on security concerns in the wake of last weekend’s mass shootings.
“We want the public to know that we stand prepared with a security plan to address what we know are fears that some of the people who plan to attend this concert might have,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed said at the kick off press conference Thursday afternoon.
SFPD will be deploying more officers inside and outside the even than ever before this year.
“We want you to see us there. We know in terms of response to an incident, when we’re here quickly, that matters. So you’ll see us in and around this event in large numbers,” said SFPD Chief Bill Scott.
The increased security will include officers on horseback, bicycles, motorcycles, on foot and SWAT officers walking around in tactical gear in addition to private security.
“In light of everything that’s been going on, I have full confidence in our police department, Rec and Park and Another Planet, that they know how to put on a large event very safely,” said District 1 Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer.
Beyond the security, the purple haze of smoke known to blanket Hippie Hill in the park on 4-20 is officially sanctioned for Outside Lands. An area called Grass Lands has been permitted to allow for the sale and consumption of cannabis.
Outside Lands is the first music festival in the country to have such an area. Grass Lands has permission from both both the state and the city. Breed is calling the area a test balloon.
“I want to be clear if it works well, we might do this for other festivals. If it doesn’t, we’re gonna have second thoughts about issuing permits like this in the future. All I’m saying is we want to have a good time, but also want to be responsible,” said Breed.
Information on the products, services and activities available in the Grass Lands area at Outside Lands is available on the festival’s official website.