420 only comes once a year and 420 2018 was one for the history books. An estimated 15,000 people flocked to Robin Williams Meadow (formerly known as Sharon Meadow) in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco yesterday for Hippie Hill, San Francisco’s most well attended and celebrated 420 event.
Presented by greenRush, Hippie Hill 2018 featured the 2nd Annual Bud Drop. A spectacular sight to behold; the entire crowd counted down to 4:20 pm under a cloud of marijuana smoke, united by their love for Mary Jane. This was the first time Hippie Hill has taken place since weed became recreationally legal in the state of California. Many were excited to be a part of California and marijuana history and reveled in weed’s new found legality in the state.
Things got off to a slow start, as people lined up outside the event, waiting to be let in. Those who had been waiting in line for 40 minutes began chanting “we want to smoke pot in the park” and a collective cheer was let out as the gates were opened and the crowd began to filter in. As soon as people were in, however, the fun began and Hippie Hill was officially in business.
Cannabis businesses from all over the Bay Area were also present at the event, selling their wares and exchanging information and weed wisdom galore. Most revelers had come prepared and it wasn’t long before the hill became hazy as attendees laid in the grass and enjoyed their spoils to the sound of various hippie hits and, of course, some Bob Marley wafting over from the stage. For those with a serious case of the munchies, a food court-style area was available at the event, aptly named ‘Munchie Land’. Some of the foods available included a $12 ‘donut sandwich’ for some serious satisfaction.
This year, event organizers worked with the city of San Francisco to make sure the event was as safe as possible. Though admission to the event remained free, guests were required to register through the official Hippie Hill event website. Increased security was present, as well as more fencing and a larger cleanup effort to ensure no damage was done to the park. Tents, canopies, tables, cooking equipment, amplified sound, glass, and weapons were among some of the things not allowed into the event.
Paul Warshaw, CEO of greenRush, noted how chilled the crowd was, “What a mellow crowd,” he said. “The worst thing that’s going to happen is someone is going to fall asleep.” greenRush worked with various Haight Street merchants and Sounds Bazaar to put on the event.
Guests who got to the event first were given free t-shirts and lanyards, giving thousands of people the opportunity to remember the event. greenRush also had an Instagrammable Moment area, where attendees could get their photo taken in front of a 12-foot inflatable pot leaf.
Throughout the event, vibes remained positive. Attendees even picked up trash on their way out of the event, a show of appreciation for the city and the organizers for keeping the event free and safe. With cannabis now legal in California, many were unsure of how the event would pan out but San Francisco’s premier 420 event, Hippie Hill was a resounding success.