The dance music-heavy festival runs until Sunday in San Francisco, but many are concerned with the lack of crowd control.
After the tragic events of the Astroworld Festival in 2021 and a COVID-driven concern with huge crowds, it’s natural to see audiences and artists more concerned with proper festival safety and security protocols being enforced. It’s something that continues to put concertgoers in peril, as most recently shown at the Portola Festival in San Francisco. Videos have surfaced of hundreds of people gathered around a small entrance to a warehouse stage, where eyewitness accounts claim many in the crowd were being crushed as a result.
In some Twitter clips that have gone around, one can see festival-goers jumping over barricades past overwhelmed security guards. It’s unclear in the videos whether they are escaping from being too pressured around others or if they just want to fool around, but it’s not impossible to see how the former would be the case. Hundreds are gathered in what should be a walkable area for fans to move between stages.
Crowd crushing was the main factor that led to ten deaths and hundreds of injuries at last year’s Astroworld. So far at Portola, which is taking place at Pier 80, there have been no major injuries reported. The festival is produced by Goldenvoice, who also runs another huge California festival, Coachella.
Portola is, for the most part, a dance-centric festival with some of the biggest names in electronic music today. The lineup includes Flume, Kaytranada, James Blake, Charli XCX, Fred again, Caroline Polachek, and many more. It seems that the huge crowds are just lacking proper control and direction at the festival, and hopefully that faulty organization doesn’t result in another tragic event.