Harry S. Pariser
2 min readJul 25, 2023

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My Open Letter to Supervisor Connie Chan Regarding the Outside Lands “Extension” Sellout

July 24, 2023

Dear Supervisor Chan:

I am disappointed in your press release lauding Another Planet Entertainment and repeating their false claims about the benefits of their concerts in Golden Gate Park and their coming destruction of the Castro Theater as we have known it.

https://sfrecpark.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1560

APE is NOT a local company. It is a large corporation based in Berkeley whose $15 million in annual revenue largely comes from overcharging patrons.

NO community meetings were ever held before OL started.

Resident complaints have been continual over the years. We are ignored.

It is unclear where the millions claimed to be received have been spent.

The current contract is a giveaway. The “festival” itself is an elitist-priced event which is a huge noise polluter. APE constructed an enormous concrete crescent in the Polo Fields without any input from we hoi polloi!

It is disgusting what they are doing to the Castro Theater. Taking out those seats will ruin the venue. Overpriced concerts with mediocre music do not benefit anyone living in the neighborhood. I can not understand how you come to the conclusion this is beneficial for San Franciscans.

I am saddened to see you sell out like this. I thought that, back when you were the mouthpiece of the Recreation and Park Department, you saw through what a sham this all is.

I was wrong.

Do you really not know how bad this concert is and has been both for locals and for the environment?

Really?

It is just one more incident of despoiling our public space — pimping it out to benefit Mammon.

As David Romano so expertly details (links directly below), the entire process was stage-managed to produce consensus. Even though — had you held neighborhood meetings — you would have found overwhelming opposition.

https://droma4.medium.com/a-dirty-deal-gone-down-the-san-francisco-rec-and-park-commission-recommends-the-board-of-e1899e2e0b15

https://droma4.medium.com/neighbors-get-short-shrift-another-planet-gets-its-way-91637b98e4c6

I know you won’t change your mind.

Last year you failed to fight the privatization of the Tea Garden. Before that, instead of simply demanding that that (soon-to-be-permanent) ferris wheel be removed on schedule, you overly compromised by promoting a one-year extension. It is inexcusable that the ferris wheel was ever planted in the Concourse in the first place.

But that is the problem with this authoritarian government. Crafty grifters like Ben Davis can make money off our public space while we are completely shut out of input.

The process is corrupt and decision-making is inept. The internet is used to generate distance and generate a fake consensus. The mayor’s office appoints all the commissioners (in the case of the RPD Commission) and not one of them can carry on an intellectual conversation. Some of them are truly embarrassing!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_16O8-cbbw

This system is running the city into the ground. When is anyone going to do anything meaningful to stop it?

Sincerely,

Harry S. Pariser

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Harry S. Pariser

Harry S. Pariser is a long time resident of San Francisco, CA. He is a writer (and author), artist and photographer.