The biggest free cannabis event in California gets its biggest star yet, and this year’s 4/20 Hippie Hill celebration will feature four-time Grammy winner Erykah Badu, plus D’wayne Wiggins from Tony! Toni! Toné!, though legal cannabis sales are not yet confirmed.
Last year’s 4/20 at Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park was not only the first 4/20 with legal cannabis sales in the park, but also marked the event’s evolution from an outlaw, unpermitted event to a legitimate and well-organized music festival. The pied piper of stoners, Berner, headlined the event, and the crowd was dazzled with surprise closing sets from Oakland R&B star Goapele and hyphy legend Nump.
The official 4/20 Hippie Hill website currently just says “Join us at Robin Williams Meadow, Golden Gate Park on Thursday, April 20th, 2023 10am - 5pm PST.” But Alex Aquino, founder and owner of 4/20 Hippie Hill’s official event producer and community partner Sounds Bazaar, confirmed to SFist on Friday afternoon that this year's event is on, with its biggest star yet on stage.
“We will have miss Erykah Badu hosting Hippie Hill and helping us with the countdown,” Aquino tells SFist. And that’s great news, because last year Berner seemed to not realize that the clock had struck 4:20, and needed to be reminded.
But on-site legal cannabis sales for this year have still not been approved by the California Department of Cannabis Control or the SF Office of Cannabis. (These permits weren’t granted until the last minute for Outside Lands 2019 and Carnaval 2022, so the delay is not unusual.)
“A permit hasn't been issued yet,” the SF Office of Cannabis said in an email to SFist. “The prospective event organizer is navigating through the temporary event processes at both the state and local levels. The local permit application is pending."
But while the dope permit is still on hold, the musical lineup definitely sounds dope.
“D’wayne Wiggins from Tony! Toni! Toné! is going to be dropping his new Pillows cannabis line, and he’s going to be doing a couple of songs for us,” Aquino tells us. “And then we have some great DJs; DJ Mind Motion, Shortkut, Jah Yzer, Mike White, and Erykah Badu’s DJ A1. Good music all the way around.”
This year also adds a “health and wellness area” that will get going before the music stage kicks up, and will continue with DJs into the day. “We’re going to be doing ‘morning yoga and a joint’ over at the side of Hippie Hill, and we’re going to have a health and wellness area where you can get a massage, you can do sound bath or meditation, all that stuff before amplified music starts at noon,” he says.
The Erykah Badu announcement may not be a surprise to those who have been following 4/20 Hippie Hill’s Social Club account, as that account announced weeks ago she was playing the afterparty at the Midway. “We do have DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown a.k.a. Erykah Badu who is going to be DJing our afterparty, with DJ Shortkut from the Invisibl Skratch Piklz, and DJ Talib Kweli, so we’re going to have a cool nice dance party after hours at the Midway,” Aquino explains. “That starts at 8 p.m.”
Last year’s event drew an estimated nearly 20,000 attendees, having Erykah Bado on the bill may draw even more this year. “All the patrons out there, please support our brands at this free community cultural event,” Aquino says. “Please purchase your legal, tested, clean product on-site at Hippie Hill. We encourage people not to intake or digest any non-licensed, non-tested product.” (That is, should they get their sales permit as they did last year.)
Image: DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 24: American singer-songwriter Erykah Badu performs on stage during Another Badu Birthday Bash concert at The Factory in Deep Ellum on February 24, 2023 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images)