Music FestivalsNews

Alameda May Not Want To Cancel Portola Anymore

It appears that San Francisco’s Portola Music Festival will be back for another year. 

According to a report from The San Francisco Standard, city officials from San Francisco and Alameda, California met yesterday to discuss the festival’s “significant noise impacts,” outlined in a Facebook post by the City of Alameda that called for Portola’s discontinuation.

The festival, which takes place at Pier 80, about four and a half miles across the San Francisco Bay from Alameda, reportedly led to “countless complaints” from Alameda residents. 

Discussing the meeting with The Standard, San Francisco Entertainment Commission Executive Director Maggie Weinland said, “I think we turned the conversation around. There will be more outreach and Alameda will get updates on the plan.”

The Standard reports that both parties will continue conversations on ways to mitigate sound from the festival in future editions.

“Our staff will continue to work in partnership with festival organizers and the San Francisco Entertainment Commission to understand what happened and what additional steps can be taken to mitigate this ambient sound in the future,” an Alameda spokesperson said in an email to The Standard.

Tensions boiled over when the City of Alameda’s Facebook post encouraged residents to voice their concerns to the San Francisco Entertainment Commission directly, in addition to submitting a formal request for Portola’s discontinuation to Weinland.

Bay Area ravers responded by drumming up support for Portola online, with most comments on the Facebook post challenging the City of Alameda’s argument, as seen below.

Alameda’s noise ordinance allows for sound levels of up to 70 decibels at night, and according to Weinland, on-site sound monitors never recorded labels above 61.6 decibels during the festival.

In a text sent to The Standard, Entertainment Commissioner Ben Bleimen wrote, “I was triple-shocked. First, Alameda put up a Facebook post encouraging residents to complain to San Francisco. Second, that same post gets ratio’d so hard by their own people in FULL SUPPORT of the festival.”

“It played out like a lost episode of Parks & Recreation,” he added.


Featured image from Portola.

Written by
Peter Volpe

Journalism student at The Ohio State University who loves beeps and boops!

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