Sunday, October 08, 2006

Blue Angel stunt flights buzz HSB

For several hours Saturday afternoon, the U.S. Navy elite aerobatic team, the Blue Angels, took multiple flybys over the site of the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in Golden Gate Park, drowning out the music on the five festival stages. The air show was a part of the Navy's Fleet Week celebration, a long-held event in San Francisco.

For many artists and attendees at the event, it appeared that the flights were intentionally routed over the festival site, though the planes were no doubt visible all over the city. "I've never done a gig before where at a key point in the set, six fighter planes in formation fly right over the stage," said British folk-rocker Billy Bragg during his set.

Considering the likely prevailing political bent of the festival audience, the fly-bys seemed to me to be either very ill-considered pro-military PR or an intentional provocation. It will be interesting to see if there is a repeat performance today.

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