Sunday, September 30, 2007

Will the Blue Angels disrupt HSB?

Last week at Monterey, I remarked on the low flying aircraft coming in over the festival to land at Monterey Airport. Next weekend at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, the overhead distraction is a little more spectacular.

Once again, HSB coincides with Fleet Week in San Francisco, including four-hour performances on Saturday and Sunday by the U.S. Navy's elite flight demonstration team, the Blue Angels. Now I am not going to express an opinion about the Blue Angels their air show in San Francisco, but I will say that their act is an unwelcome distraction for several hundred thousand people at a music festival.

Last year, I had the distinct impression that the F18 Hornet pilots, flying wingtip to wingtip, deliberately buzzed the festival on repeated fly-bys. For thirty seconds of so, the sound of the aircraft would drown out whatever performer was on stage. Undoubtedly, a percentage of the 200,000 attendees were delighted by the aerobatics--many, many more were disturbed by the interference.

So the flights are happening again this year--1-5 pm on the same days as Hardly Strictly. I hope there has been some communication among the festival, the city and the Navy such that the Blue Angels avoid low fly-bys over Speedway Meadow. I'm not bothered if their stunts are visible from the festival--but I don't want them disrupting my experience.

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