The boss and I talked to the organizer of this little Haight St. soiree yesterday and at the very least, the worst-case scenarios look a little better.
As noted at the beginning of this saga, I am friendly enough with some of the people throwing the event. As dude made his way down our long ass aisles I had a couple seconds to read him. If I had to guess, I would say that somebody informed him that I and/or we were less than enthusiastic about this event. So he stepped up to the plate, and nailed it.
Supposedly this is not going to be much of a rap event. They have reached out to a large number of local live acts, but they have absolutely no clue who's actually coming through to play (not sure how you accommodate anything more than solo acts, acoustic performances, or rappers needing nothing more than a live mic on such short notice, but OK...). DJs were the primary focus of the booking to provide flexibility in scheduling, cover no-shows, and switch up the vibe on the fly. The confirmed acts did indeed sound varied and family-friendly.
Then I became pretty sure he knew I had been voicing some displeasure about this whole thing- dude said their musical lineup was so up in the air they might fucking need me to play. Seemed serious enough, but I'm pretty sure he was just gassing me up. *Sigh*... it wasn't about petty shit like feeling slighted bud, I know I am not going to outdraw Talib Kweli, it's just don't go around telling everybody it's by us, for us, when the majority of us merchants are getting screwed over by an event nobody even knew was happening. Whatever though. I promised I would indeed be sitting by my phone in the literal sense. In the figurative sense... ha ha, yeah right. Although it would not surprise me if I did get a call to pitch in at the precise moment Derek Carr trots onto the field to engineer a potential game-winning drive. That sounds like something that would happen.
So while the entertainment end of things sounds to be uh, "constantly evolving," dude said that as far as everything else- security, porta-potties, and the like, they basically matched or exceeded everything that the Haight St. Fair does, which expects to attract about 50,000 people a year. Most impressively though, the guy did not even try to make us any promises all three of us would have known he couldn't keep. He said he has no clue what exactly is going to go down, but fingers crossed. I definitely prefer and respect that attitude more than some baseless guarantees.
I did not ask him if Ghostface is playing. That is really the only concern I still have. If Ghostface plays on what I've been told will be the main stage at the corner of Haight and Clayton, the intersection where all the shops have big plate glass windows, there could be issues. Otherwise, there will be some nonsense, but I would be very surprised if any kind of newsworthy disturbance jumps off. Erykah Badu was booked because she draws tons of women to her performances, and the organizers thought that would help with the vibe. I disagreed with that. In my experience, gaggles of scantily-clad chicks just make dudes act even dumber.
So it might be Erykah Badu, Talib Kweli, Ghostface, Santana, Metallica, Sheila E., Tito Puente, and Hiero playing on the street today. Or it might be me and a bunch of little kids' bands. Either way, it sounds as if this whole shebang will be nothing more than a mild inconvenience, on a day I didn't plan on leaving the house after 10 AM anyway. Of course I live in a gated building and don't have to deal with people pissing and barfing on my front stoop, so opinions on the success of this event will ultimately vary.