The primary-ever Portola Music Pageant — the two-day live performance sequence that was held this previous weekend on Pier 80 — included excellent performances from well-known acts like Charli XCX and Flume, however many of the competition’s excessive factors had been kicked down a notch attributable to lengthy traces and harmful crowd situations.

Created and arranged by Goldenvoice, which is a sister firm of Anschutz Leisure Group (AEG), Portola is aiming to grow to be a staple electronic-dance music competition that may responsibly fill the 60-acre facility at Pier 80. With two warehouses and sufficient open house to erect short-term dance halls, the venue, itself, has all of the potential to host a destination-worthy extravaganza. Coupled with the roster of artists related to Goldenvoice, Portola Pageant’s potential is robust.


However as its inaugural weekend competition proved, it has fairly an extended option to go. 

Arriving at Portola required a good bit of strolling. Pageant attendees arrived by the use of a shuttle, public transit, or by both foot or bike on the intersection of Illinois and Cesar Chavez streets, the place they had been then greeted with an array of indicators guiding them to the field workplace for ticket retrieval, VIP and GA entrances, and acceptable emergency exits.


Ticket retrieval on the field workplace was an general speedy and simple expertise. Navigating the competition, nevertheless, is not such a simple affair. Cookie-cutter drink and meals stations lined the pier — all of which sported similar menus, carrying the identical loopy excessive costs that rivaled the edible choices at Outdoors Lands a month prior. There was one central eating space adjoining to the Crane Tent — one in all two efficiency tents that hosted smaller, however no much less thrilling acts like Dials and Shygirl.

Akin to Outdoors Lands, teams of transportable bathrooms had been unfold across the live performance grounds; these situated within the VIP space had been noticeably higher, cleaner, and fewer of a nightmare to make use of. Water bottle refilling stations had been plentiful all through the competition grounds. Blue, quasi-cushy astroturf was specified by entrance of the Pier Stage — an sudden, however pleasant shock that was kinder on our toes and allowed us to take a seat down and luxuriate in James Blake.


The weekend’s large acts — Charli XCX, Flume, The Chemical Brothers, and so on. — attracted a young-skewing crowd that gave the impression to be largely mid- to late-twenty sorts. As SFist famous in its protection of the competition, it’s unclear simply how large the group measurement was at Portola Pageant, however it wasn’t corresponding to the 80,000 folks Outdoors Lands sees yearly. 

It was, nevertheless, massive sufficient to trigger crowd security issues, notably on the one, totally enclosed stage. Movies surfaced Saturday displaying lots of individuals swarming the Warehouse Stage after safety gave the impression to be holding the door over a capability challenge. Instantly, comparisons to Astroworld had been drawn. Following the incident, Goldenvoice launched an announcement saying that the group security downside was a “minimal, remoted challenge.” 

Many attendees famous that, as soon as inside, the Warehouse venue was huge and in no way crowded — and the usage of only a couple factors of ingress and egress appeared extremely questionable, if not outright harmful.


“There was a minimal, remoted challenge with a competition stage entrance [Saturday],” a consultant for Goldenvoice wrote in an announcement revealed by Billboard. “This occurred throughout the confines of the grounds and was rapidly addressed and corrected. There have been no reported accidents and the competition continued for an additional six hours with out incident.”

These issues mixed with the widespread lengthy traces we discovered when ordering meals and needing to make use of the restroom, it was arduous to shake free the notion that this competition offered too many tickets and was woefully unprepared to handle the large crowds.

Portola Music Pageant’s first-ever time as much as bat wasn’t precisely a homerun, nor was it an outright strikeout. It crashed someplace within the center. Solely time will inform if it clears all of the bases to grow to be a worthwhile staple on our leisure calendars.

*All included pictures are courtesy of Hoodline/Matt Charnock