Erykah Badu and Talib Kweli have indeed been announced as performing across the street from me on Sunday- as celebrity fraud DJs, of course. I have heard that Erykah Badu is offensively bad at this particular artistic endeavor. And all my worst suspicions about this event have been confirmed, and then some.
The musical line-up has not/will not be announced ahead of time, because the artists have non-compete clauses in other contracts. They also will not be announced because the organizers are consciously doing everything they can to not have to shell out for the amount of security they know would be required for such an event, an event nobody in the neighborhood would have supported had they any idea it was being planned.
They are telling everybody that this event is for the merchants and community. I work for the oldest business on Haight St. We did not hear a thing from these people, until they came and asked us for DONATIONS. One of my favorite business owners on the street, last Friday I had to inform him that the event was taking place. He's as on-point as anybody in the neighborhood, and he had no idea that the street was being shut down about a week before the event. Multiple other business owners came through the shop last weekend asking us what the hell was going on- they had absolutely no clue this was coming.
Basically, four boutique clothing brands with big corporate backing decided to throw the entire rest of the neighborhood under the bus, created some new bullshit merchants' associations as cover (possibly the third different "Haight St. Merchants' Association") and trotted out all this old-timey graphics promotional shit claiming they are doing all of us on the street a favor with this event. The favor of killing all of our business for the day, and creating an extremely volatile situation. They convinced the city they are throwing a family-friendly street festival, who designated the appropriate amount of police for such an event, but they are throwing a free rap concert instead.
The junkies on mid-Market treat that neighborhood better than the people who come to the Haight for events. And now we're hosting a free rap festival, no secure entrances, intentionally under-staffed with security.
When the news helicopter pans over the riot, and you see a longhair on a roof with a beer in one hand and waving a homemade cardboard "FUCK THE NINERS" sign in the other, you can tell all your friends "Hey, I know that guy!"