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San Francisco’s Portola Music Festival Was Hella Loud

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The Portola Music Festival took place this past weekend. I didn’t know about the festival, but I definitely heard it.

The two day convert event, which featured performances by Charli XCX,  Fatboy Slim and the Chemical Brothers, coincided with the Folsom Street Fair, so naturally, I assumed that some leather daddies were getting their techno groove on, but that wasn’t the case. The source of the music was 4 miles away on pier 80; which is awkwardly sandwiched between Dogpatch and the Bayview. Yet it was so loud that I heard it in SoMa, and apparently, I wasn’t alone.

It didn’t bother me because SoMa is always loud, but people in more residential parts of the city weren’t as forgiving.

Homeowners in The Bayview, Potrero Hill and Dogpatch and even west of in me in Noe Valley reported that their windows were rattling from the deep bass coming from the festival and they didn’t necessarily love it. Even the East Bay didn’t get out unscathed as people in Alameda and Oakland reportedly got an ear full of that sick ass bass.

You should be used to hearing loud music, fireworks, gunshots, people arguing, cars going by, construction and everything short of a jet landing on your roof. That’s just how the it is here. Deal with it.

I understand why people were annoyed, but I also feel like they signed up for it. Not so much Alameda, they were a suburban bystander caught in the loud ass urban crossfire. I’m sure they were going ham on Nextdoor as God intended. But if you live in the City or Oakland, you’re in the urban Bay Area. The land of loudness for no good reason. You should be used to hearing loud music, fireworks, gunshots, people arguing, cars going by, construction and everything short of a jet landing on your roof. That’s just how the it is here. Deal with it.

People don’t move to cities for tranquility. They move to be reminded that they’re alive and cool and what’s a better reminder that your thumb is on the pulse of something than the sweet sound of antiquated techno penetrating your eardrums without your consent? City livin’, baby! Woohoo! What? Did you come here for walkable neighborhoods, natural beauty and progressive political inclinations? Too bad, loser. Now listen to Charli XCX or something and shut up.

Also DJ Shadow was there and that’s cool. All that was missing from the lineup was Daft Punk.

I kind of wish I knew about this festival or lived closer to the concert so I could enjoy the music beyond the hum of the bass I got in my apartment. I used to listen to Fatboy Slim when I was a Fatboy Fat. Now I’m Fatman Fat and crave nostalgia for a time when it didn’t feel like the world was slowly ending.

I’ve run out of shit to say. Here’s a Fatboy Slim song I like and an accompanying music video that illustrates what has happened in every public bathroom in San Francisco since the dawn of time itself.






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Abraham Woodliff - Bay Area Memelord

Abraham Woodliff - Bay Area Memelord

Abraham Woodliff is an Oakland-based writer, editor and digital content creator known for Bay Area Memes, a local meme page that has amassed nearly 200k followers. His work has appeared in SFGATE, The Bold Italic and of course, His book of short stories, personal essays and poetry entitled Don't Drown on Dry Ground is available now!