Franti’s free “Power to the Peaceful” festival will not return to GGP this year

Just as Outside Lands is set to kick off, we get news via SFCitizen that the popular (and FREE) “Power to the Peaceful” music fest, put on by musician Michael Franti, will not take place this year.

The concert missed last summer as well, and fans of the “Music, Art, Community and Consciousness” event were eagerly awaiting its return in 2012.

But organizers announced on July 31 that they would not be putting on the festival due to rising city fees:

Due to rising city fees which have ballooned our operating costs over the past years, we regrettably announce that The Power to the Peaceful Festival will not be staged in September of 2012.

In what would have been our 13th year of free festivals in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park the only way to have produce the festival this year would have been to turn it into a ticketed event. We wish to thank all of our supporters and volunteers and look forward to the next chapter of the Power To The Peaceful team working to promote peace and positivity in our community at future events.

The festival had something for everyone, and was a popular event for families. In addition to hosting international musicians, the festival featured a DJ tent, open-air art gallery, eco village, social justice forum, green vendors and food booths, a healing arts tent, plus kids zone offering arts and crafts, live theater, music and activities.

Another long running event, Jimmy’s Old Car Picnic, almost met a similar fate in 2010 when SF Rec & Park threatened to drive up permit fees for the 20+ year old fundraiser.

They eventually worked it out but it sent a clear message – Golden Gate Park is in business to make money.

No word on whether Power to the Peaceful will return in the future, but let’s hope it does. It was a nice free event that a lot of people enjoy. In the meantime, I’ll just keep listening to Franti and practice my yoga…

UPDATE: Our friends over at SFAppeal did some additional digging into what happened. There was a plan in place to put on the concert, where tickets would be $10 and attendance would be limited to 40,000 – and organizers would be charged $94,000 in fees. But PTTP organizers decided to cancel much to the surprise of Rec & Park. More at SFAppeal

Sarah B.


  1. The privatization of Golden Gate Park should be something that all of San Francisco is concerned about. It’s our park, but from Styrbing Arboretum to the Beach Chalet soccer fields, it’s being stolen from us.

  2. Doesn’t everyone see — doesn’t ANYONE care — that Phil Ginsberg, head of Wreck the Park is clearly throwing out anything that his buddies (Another Planet Entertainment, etc) can’t make money on (and probably kick back to him a percentage?) We have a public amenity that is supposed to be FREE (paid for by the taxes we all pay) — and he is turning GG Park into a COMMERCIAL enterprise.

    Pay to play, all the way, my friends.

    From the boathouse at the Lake to rubber grass and 60-foot stadium lights at the Polo Fields, to fending off the entire central section of GGPark to residents during the middle of the summer, when people and their kids need it most, to closing down public playgrounds on the pretext that there is “no money” — and turning them over to corporate interests (SFWeekly has done a series on the graft and corruption — SF WEEKLY! — and provided links to an outside study showing that SF Rec&Park is one of the best funded systems in the country — on a per capita basis).

    Yet, Ginsberg knows that he just has to open his mouth and cry “no money!” and he will be allowed to rape and pillage our most precious public assets…

    When will everyone here get a clue?

  3. I totally agree. Despite being continually hit over the head, people just keep coming back for more. Eric Mar and Phil Ginsburg have done more to ruin the Richmond district than anyone in political office have done in the Richmond district in the history of San Francisco. The park is being ruined and ruled over by a small group of people who are consistently making decisions for the City – and the residents of the Richmond district – without any regard to what they want, and it’s been going on for years. Phil Ginsburg has a well-known deal going with Another Planet Entertainment, and they have a history way before these Outside Lands concerts ever began. He’s always had the reputation as being one of the sleaziest attorneys out there; how long are people just going to continue to stand by and watch Golden Gate Park and the District turn into Disneyland? Mar looks the other way and doesn’t want to get involved, although it’s more than obvious by now who he supports, and its definitely not his constituents. Eric has definitely “marred” the district, and the sooner he’s gone, the sooner the area can at least begin to deal with its issues honestly. Until these two little dictators are usurped, the Richmond will continue its descent downhill. There are days that I drive down Geary and all the empty businesses and buildings look like we’re on the verge of becoming a ghost town.

  4. All of SF’s PUBLIC space is for sale. Saw on KTVU this morning footage of tents going up on the Marina Green to host prime spot paid viewing of Americas Cup. I don’t know what’s sailing this week or who is so special they don’t want to associate with the hoi polloi.

    Am surprised that there hasn’t been a mob with pitchforks coming to run the tent out of town. Perhaps there is sufficient renter turnover down in the Marina that they have no clue this is PUBLIC land getting leased out from under them.

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