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Lieberman's reverence provides a glimpse of the special power that Another Planet has over its employees, who often came up from the bottom to places of major responsibility. He moved on from his internship to greening Outside Lands and landing a full-time job. Conde started taking tickets for BGP at a Journey show in the '80s and counts helping to bring Linkin Park to Jakarta as one of her career highlights. It's easy to understand the attraction.
From the side stage at the Greek on that July night, the crowd looked like a beery sea of arms and faces. All eyes were on veteran rocker Scott Weiland, who strutted on top of the side stage's speaker stack. He was singing — rather appropriately — I'm half the man I used to be to Another Planet marketing manager Danielle Madeira and her new intern. The rest of the side stage sang back to Weiland, while the meaty chorus behind him joined in. Little hairs stood up on everyone's neck as Madeira flashed back to her days as a Tulsa, Oklahoma teenager and fan of the band. Her intern had nothing else to compare the experience to.
Back in Room 416 at San Francisco City Hall, the proposed Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival was facing real hurdles.
"I certainly love the money, but we're talking about amplified music until 10 p.m.," Commissioner Gloria Bonilla said. "It does seem like an awful long time."
Ron Miguel, who represented nearby home-owners as president of the Planning Association for the Richmond district, was somewhat wordier. In fact, he was eventually gonged after two minutes of complaining about late liquor sales, cars parking in driveways ("we wanted to damage some of those vehicles"), and the 10 p.m. end time on Sunday. "Music is not something we want in a residential area," he said.
Between concerns about parking, traffic, liquor, and late sound, the commission wanted to know what the event would cost it.
Perloff seemed calm. After all, his company had already honed its pitch with residents of the Richmond, as well as transit, police, and fire officials. And last year, Another Planet and Noise Pop solved the logistical Mt. Everest of reopening Treasure Island to pop music.
Along with Jordan Kurland and the Noise Pop team, Another Planet had sensed a sea change at city hall and convinced authorities to let them throw an indie garden party for 10,000 fans a day. The catch? The city and CalTrans didn't want anyone clogging the Bay Bridge by driving to the island. Coordination with CalTrans and the promoters' giant fleet of rental buses made this hurdle a non-issue. The promoters said they got 10,000 people off of Treasure Island in 42 minutes. Perloff himself directed buses.
Perloff laid out his plans for Outside Lands' transportation and liquor sales, but held off on talking about sound. "Somebody parking in their driveway is totally unacceptable to me," he said. "What we have offered to do was have on-site the appropriate four tow trucks, two on each side of the park, and we're willing to do whatever's needed with a number for the neighbors to call. If any inappropriate behavior occurs, we would have an immediate response."
At the same time, Muni's N Judah and 5 Folsom lines would increase their capacity to handle the crowds. And as for alcohol, he said, "I totally agree we should cut off liquor sales like the 7th inning in the ballpark. It also depends on the show. I'm not sure we will have a very heavy drinking crowd."
Perloff also assuaged the commission's worries about extra costs, assuring the members that it would cost the department nothing. "We will also pay for additional police and additional fire for the city," he said.
Finally, he turned to the issue of amplified sound. No one can remember the last time that amplified sound was permitted in Golden Gate Park after sundown.
"Ten p.m. would be the earliest curfew of any comparable urban festival in the United States," Perloff said. "However, one of the things we talked about has to do with when sunset is on August 23. Sun sets at 7:52 p.m. and it gets dark by 8:19 p.m., so this is why we set the time at 10 p.m. A certain reality of dealing with world-class entertainment — one of the realities — is that headline bands just insist on playing in darkness at least a portion of their set."
Again, Perloff sounded humble, yet direct and utterly guileless.
"I was hoping again, like I said, 9:30 would give us an hour and ten minutes. ... It's more important. ... I don't wanna, like, mess this whole thing up over one issue, uh, ummm, could we, I know it's a weird time, but, could we say 9:20? And get an hour in darkness on the Sunday?"
"Is it that critical?" asked Commissioner Jim Lazarus. "I mean, you got people living there, you got kids going to school the next morning. If it was Saturday, I'd go later on Saturday; it's not a problem."
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