With or without a permit, Robot Dance Party will be back at Dolores Park this weekend. So says Chris Hirst, the man behind (and inside) the much-loved robot.
Since the reopening of the northern half of Dolores Park on June 18th, RDP has been ejected from the park on several occasions. Park rangers claimed that the party robot needed an amplified sound permit to continue shaking his circuits in Dolores—a hard reality for the robot’s many fans.
This lack of permitting, something that in the pre-renovation park had never been a concern, even led to the robot being escorted out of the Dolores by rangers on at least one occasion.
Breaking New Dolores News: robot dance party escorted out by rangers for amplified sound pic.twitter.com/64U2KL8tXY— Caleb Pershan (@calaesthetic) June 20, 2015
In an email exchange with Uptown Almanac, Hirst detailed the bureaucratic hoops—including meeting with Supervisor Scott Wiener—he has continued to jump through trying to get the proper paperwork. However, even his meeting with Wiener and various city officials has not resulted in his receiving the permit the city says is required.
Instead, it seems that Hirst will make do with a temporary solution.
“They’ve gotten held up in getting the permit issued but I’ve been given special documentation which will allow me to perform in the park tomorrow.”
When pressed as to what “special documentation” he had received, Hirst went into additional detail.
“A written directive went out to all the park rangers from the head of patrols to leave me alone while they work out the details upstairs. I’ll be posting a copy of it on the Robot tomorrow, in case someone missed the memo :)”
It seems that the new Dolores Park is just as welcoming as the old park to the characters that make it great—that is if you are somehow able to secure a meeting with a member of the Board of Supervisors and then have a special directive issued to park rangers on your behalf.
That’s just the problem. It shouldn’t take a special directive issued by the city for Hirst to be able to perform in Dolores Park. That’s absurd. And yet here we are.
Video: Jean Chiu