Pics & Video from Power to the Peaceful Festival

It was a nice sunny day for Michael Franti’s annual Power to the Peaceful Festival in Golden Gate Park’s Speedway Meadow. And boy was it loud! I was at Baker Beach earlier in the day and I think we could hear the festival all the way over there.

Were you peacing out at the festival?

Sarah B.

Video by K9VidBlog

Photo by Tiffany Silva

Watching Michael Franti and Spearhead perform. Photo by Steve Rhodes

Michael Franti peforms. Photo by Steve Rhodes

American Idol finalist Crystal Bowersox performs. Photo by davidtoshiyuki


  1. Too damn loud and not very peaceful. Next year Michael, get lost and stage it on Angel Island.

  2. @Lew Ernick

    Why don’t you just leave for the afternoon? It will make every one happier including yourself.

  3. The place is a zoo, totally jam packed, even in the trees. It was easy to get up front during the earlier performances, but I didn’t want permanent residency at the stage when there are so many other acitivies to see and experience.

    I was in the very back checking out the vendors during the set change prior to Rebelution and almost left because it was so tight. But I decided to persevere and penetrate the crowd. It was a chore to find a standing spot, but I did, and obviously in a pretty good position.

    For a while, people traffic was consistently transient, everybody coming and going. But that’s all part of sharing space at a free event. People settled in prior to Michael Franti’s set, and Seane Corn put things into perspective with her interactive presentation. People were talking to each other and feeling good about their neighbors.

    PTTP attracts people from all localities and persuasions, e.g., SFers, suburbanites, hippies, hipsters, frat boys, children, etc. I think the organizers are trying to control the drinking situation with the new beer gardens, while also catering to kids, artists, etc., by offering niche sections.

    I don’t know if Franti can do more to accommodate a growing crowd other than finding a larger space, or perhaps charge admission as KFOG Kaboom has done. PTTP seems to be getting too big, just as next month’s bluegrass festival is overwhelming.

    Generally, I think the message of PTTP doesn’t quite sink in with people. The speakers are informative, but most attendees probably aren’t interested in their message of peace and healing, and it would be nice to hear those speeches online. In fact, Franti didn’t say much as he has before, and to me that was disappointing because for a global activist, he has a lot to offer. Nevertheless, I think Franti has to fix up PTTP because the peace focus is lost in the mix.

  4. There’s nothing peaceful about a concert in GG Park that is so loud you can hear it at Baker Beach. Hurrah for the folks in Speedway Meadow who just lost some hearing. What a shame it had to come at the expense of peace and quiet for thousands of others who just wanted quiet enjoyment in their homes or backyards. For all those who love being blasted by over 100 dB of sound, I suggest a trip to SFO.

  5. Susan, you could always complain to supervisor Eric Mar, but he’s too busy fighting Happy Meals.

  6. Small, small internet world. Thanks for publishing my photo on your blog. The video that K9vidblog posted has my daughter dancing with Michael Franti. I would have never found it if you didn’t use my photo so thanks again!

    The concert was great, if not more than a little crowded. 70,000 people in the park that day!

  7. The problem with this event this year was obvious: for the first time, the entire thing was hurricane fenced in, and thugs at the (only) 2 entrance/exit points demanding a $5 donation. now, franti is not the first unscrupulous marketer to advertise something as free and then demand a suggested donation, but doing so in conjunction with hurricane fencing is unconscionable. the fencing is extremely dangerous with crowds that size. it’s as if these people learned nothing from the dangerous situation with Outside Lands, or in other places where people have even been killed by such poor planning and human bottleneck engineering. these events should not be allowed to create such a danger. by comparison, the bluegrass event has probably ten times as many people and it’s in no place as dangerous, because there isn’t any fencing at all

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