Good vibes and music take over Haight Street
Throngs of people flocked to Haight Street on Sunday for the 1st Annual Haight Street Music and Merchants Festival.
For the adults, there were drink specials at the many bars along Haight Street, an impromptu car show, and three musical stages featuring local artists and DJs. Bigger names like Talib Kweli and Erykah Badu also made appearances to DJ for the massive crowds.
“We have closed down the streets, we’re not allowing any outside vendors because we want people to really come and shop and spend their money on the merchants on Haight Street instead of having outside vendors,” said Katrina Belda, who was providing event information to guests in addition to passing out free balloons to younger festival attendees.
Sponsors FTC, Pink + Dolphin, Diamond Supply Co., and Derby SF orchestrated the inaugural event, and saw that Haight Street from Stanyan to Masonic blocked from traffic. There were activities for all ages, including bounce houses, the aforementioned free balloons, and face painting stations.
The mix of activities brought families, street-wear enthusiasts, and curious neighborhood residents out to the event, which felt more like a huge block party than a festival.
After one DJ opted to play a song with a few curse words in it, he apologized. “They want me to keep it clean and family friendly – which I will, after this song.”
“We do plan to do this annually, and hopefully if this year is good we can keep doing it every year,” said Belda.
Clothing retailers Diamond Supply Co. and Pink + Dolphin, who are both relatively new to Haight – Diamond Supply Co., opened for business in August and Pink + Dolphin will be celebrating their one year anniversary in October – coordinated exclusive merchandise releases in honor of the festival.
The first hundred people in the blocks-long line in front of Pink + Dolphin were rewarded with tickets that granted them access to the exclusive gear the shop was selling.
FTC, which has been in its space at 1632 Haight Street for over 20 years, hosted both skate and BMX demos for curious onlookers.
The festival – not to be confused with the Haight Ashbury Street Fair that has happened every summer for the last 37 years – was a collaborative effort between older Haight Street businesses and the newcomers to the street.
And unlike the Haight Ashbury Street Fair, which brings in outside food and merchandise vendors, organizers of the Music and Merchants Festival wanted the event to benefit, well, Haight Street merchants.