Will, if you think SF was bad then Montery was downright sleazy. I agree shakedown has deteriorated as of late. I'm ashamed of the condition that we leave them in. Shakedown is a reflection of us and it is up to us to fix it. I don't really have any ideas other than to ensure I don't worsen the scene and voice my opinion when I see someone else soil the scene. Any other thought would be welcome.
Particularly the second night where they forced everyone onto the street in Monterey. I think the last 20-30 years has given birth to a whole sleazy youth scene that dominates shakedown street. I really don't see a simple fix. You go to any pier area in a Southern CA city (can speak for San Diego, at least, maybe everywhere) and you see this crowd, same was true every summer when I lived in Boulder (at least 5-10 years ago). More motivated by drugs than music and all about making a buck off the tourist class of show goers and tourists. I think the only way to remove that scene is to enforce a ticket only policy.
I also remember a much better scene in the late 80's, but wonder if that was just because the shows were so big that music lovers outnumbered the non-show going pure drug scene and if we are just seeing a shift in balance given the smaller venues, etc. ? It definitely seems a little more sinister and a lot less love/music oriented.