The Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival generates a lot of revenue for the City. But, the noise for residents is annoying and has been getting worse every year.
The August, 2018 the festival generated 249 noise complaints by 190 different residents of about 12 square miles of western San Francisco. Some of the complaints came from residents who live as far as three miles from Golden Gate Park. And, some residents whose noise complaints have been ignored for years have been abandoning their homes during the three-day festival.
Unfortunately, none of the 190 people who submitted complaints were notified about the community meetings that were held in the Sunset and Richmond districts in September and October to discuss problems with the Outside Lands Festival. And, a Rec. and Park staff report dated Dec. 6, 2018, unfairly underreported the number of noise complaints received during and after the 2018 festival.
The SF Recreation and Park Commission will consider a 10-year extension of the Outside Lands’ Use Permit at the full commission meeting on Thursday, Jan. 17, at 10 a.m., at City Hall, Room 416.
Before any extension of the Outside Lands Use Permit is approved, everyone who is affected by noise from the festival should request that the City take the following actions:
• Adopt objective standards and testing protocols for noise levels at all outdoor events, including the Outside Lands Festival; and incorporate those standards into the Outside Lands Use Permit;
• Require the City and Outside Lands sponsors to co-retain a competent acoustic engineer (for the duration of the current and all subsequent use permits) to consult on the installation and operation of the sound system at every Outside Lands Festival;
• Reduce the time period of the proposed extension of the Outside Lands Use Permit from 10 years to three years.
Please email your comments to the Recreation and Park Commission or attend the meeting.
As written, the proposed Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival Use Permit does not specify what acoustical standards must be met and what testing protocols must be used to control noise levels at the festival and in the surrounding neighborhoods. The use permit only requires Outside Lands to “monitor noise levels” and adjust them “as required.”
Further, the proposed use permit does not include the acoustical standards and testing protocols that the Recreation and Park Department and Outside Lands are using to determine if outdoor noise levels from Outside Lands are acceptable, because the City has never adopted outdoor noise standards. And, the use permit does not even mention the possibility of retaining an acoustical engineering firm to design the sound system for each festival.
Please attend the meeting or send in your comments concerning the annual Outside Lands Festival.
Categories: Letters to the Editor