As San Francisco gears up for the 12th annual Outside Lands music festival at Golden Gate Park starting on Friday, city leaders are promising tight security in light of recent mass shootings across the country.
The three-day festival takes place at Golden Gate Park through Sunday and is set to feature acts like Paul Simon, Childish Gambino, Twenty One Pilots, Kacey Musgraves, Flume, The Lumineers, and blink-182 among others. This year, organizers are expecting 210,000 people.
In addition to the beefed up security plans, this year's festival marks the first time the event will allow the sale and consumption of marijuana inside the grounds.
"We know that what's at the front of everyone's mind is public safety. Especially in light of, sadly, so many tragic shootings that have happened all over the country," said Mayor London Breed on Thursday.
"We want the public to know that we stand prepared with a security plan to address what we know are fears that some of the people who plan to attend this concert might have," she said.
As part of the security plan, Police Chief William Scott said more police officers and private security guards will be placed in the festival, around its perimeters and in and around the nearby neighborhoods.
Scott said while there is an evacuation plan in place in the event of an emergency, he cautioned against making it public.
Organizer Another Planet Entertainment said, in addition, layers of fencing and extra barricades have also been added this year.
"For many years, we feel we've always had the appropriate amount of security and we feel that's one of the things that's made this event so safe all these years," said Another Planet CEO Gregg Perloff.
In regards to the new marijuana policy, Breed said, depending on how this plays out, the trend could spread to other San Francisco festivals.
"This is the first time we're trying something like this out, and I want to be clear, if it works well, we might do this for other festivals.
If it doesn't, then we're going to have second thoughts about issuing permits like this in the future," she said.
The cannabis-area, called Grass Lands, will have cannabis for sale and will only be for those over 21 years old.
Event-goers and residents in the area are being asked to sign up for the city's emergency text alerts, by texting "Outsidelands" to 8877.
"You will get automatic alerts about anything that you might need to know, particularly if there's any emergency situation," said Mary Ellen Carroll, executive director of the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management.
City leaders are also encouraging festival-goers to take public transportation to the event, with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency adding extra buses and light rail cars, including along the N-Judah line, all three days. Also BART will be running longer trains starting Friday and on Sunday it will add extra trains after 7 p.m. for people leaving the festival.
More information about the festival, including information about the bag policy and prohibited items, can be found at thier website.