"A free parade that celebrates music, love, diversity, tolerance, dance, and community is something... America needs now more than ever," stated the organizers of the big annual San Francisco LoveFest, the annual electronic music festival which celebrated year four on Saturday. "We know that in a culture awash in conflict, materialism, superficial concerns and greed, an event of this kind can lift the spirits and the hopes of those who surrender to its power. The power of dance. The power of music. The power of community." That statement was made before Saturday's big fourth annual parade and party. And having attended both the LoveFest Parade and the mega party it morphed into after parking at Civic Center Plaza, I can confidently say that it was mission accomplished for the LoveFest. The event kicked off around 12:30PM as a colorful parade from 2nd Street down Market and ended up as an all day outdoor dance party awash in tens of thousands revelers grooving to all strains of throbbing electronic music.
Saturday's upbeat SF LoveFest 2008 came after a week of downbeat, depressing news headlines. So it was the perfect antidote to the reality of the gloomy world outside where the economy is in the toilet and the future doesn't look bright from any angle. For the approximately 100,000 dancing bodies that packed the Civic Center Plaza to move to the various music booming sound system floats lined up across the large city center plaza, the SF LoveFest truly offered up pure unadulterated escapism -- if only for the day. Of course, there were reminders of the presidential election, with Barack Obama images everywhere. But Obama -- hung round as an image of hope -- never distracted; rather, the images only seemed to reinforce the good vibes that hung in the air all day up until the party wound to a close at around 8PM. Check out the SF LoveFest website for more images and info, plus an amazing bird's eye view video looking down on Civic Center Plaza on Saturday afternoon.