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Live Nation plots multi-day fest on former Vertex site

Local authorities in Chaffee County, Colorado, have granted Live Nation permission for a new multi-day country music festival, to be held over the Labor Day (3 September) weekend on the former site of AEG’s short-lived Vertex event.

Vertex festival debuted in 2016, attracting around 8,000 attendees with an eclectic line-up featuring Alabama Shakes, Odesza, Trey Anastasio Band, Anderson Paak, Graham Nash, Duke Dumont and BadBadNotGood. A planned second outing was axed by promoter Madison House Presents following opposition from local residents, who complained of “several notorious issues, mostly related to drug use on the festival grounds and multiple drug busts related to the festival, noise and light disturbances and the 1.30am curfew Friday and Saturday night”.

An earlier curfew proposed by Chaffee County, along with a noise limit of 85dB, would have rendered the festival “untenable”, said festival director Michael Sampliner.

In a recent Chaffee County board meeting, commissioners (councillors) approved unanimously a request for a special event permit by Live Nation Worldwide, Inc., for a multi-day festival at the Meadows in Buena Vista – formerly home to Vertex – reports local paper the Mountain Mail.

“Chaffee County commissioners approved unanimously a request for a special event permit by Live Nation Worldwide”

Conditions imposed on Live Nation include stipulations on transportation and infrastructure, public health, food and alcohol, emergency medical services, emergency operations, law enforcement, communications, noise mitigation, insurance and indemnification, cost reimbursement and general operations, according to the paper.

Additionally, fire brigade chief Robert Bertram said Chaffee County Fire Protection District, which is a separate entity to the county, had trouble recouping expenditures from Vertex “because of a misunderstanding that it was part of the county” – a discrepancy he wants addressed with the new Live Nation event.

The approval came after a five-hour public hearing in which 30 people commented, reports the Mail.

Other Live Nation country music festivals include Rockin’ River in Canada, with which the company partnered in January, Faster Horses in Michigan and Country LakeShake in Chicago. Its Las Vegas event Route 91 Harvest was attacked by a gunman last October in the deadliest mass shooting in US history.

 


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Madison House Presents pulls plug on Vertex 2017

Madison House Presents, the AEG-owned promoter/venue operator behind Michigan’s Electric Forest festival, Chance the Rapper’s Magnificent Coloring Day event and the Forest Hills Stadium (14,000-cap.) in Queens, New York, has scrapped the second Vertex festival in Colorado amid a dispute with local authorities and residents.

IQ reported last month that the fledgling festival had been given a one-year permit extension for 2017 on the condition that it institute a strict curfew and 85dB noise limit, which festival director Michael Sampliner said would make the event “untenable”.

Buena Vista residents cited “several notorious issues, mostly related to drug use on the festival grounds and multiple drug busts related to the festival, noise and light disturbances and the 1.30am curfew Friday and Saturday night” as reasons for their opposition to Vertex.

A statement from Vertex says the festival will now not go ahead in 2017, but may return the following year.

“Rushing forward could compromise the quality of the festival and is not in the best interest of Buena Vista or Vertex”

“The recent approval of the permit for Vertex in 2017 is much appreciated, and displays the collective intentions to discover a great path forward,” it reads. “Buena Vista’s relationship with a world-class festival has amazing potential.

“Rushing forward could compromise the quality of the festival and is not in the best interest of Buena Vista or Vertex. We look forward to ongoing productive discussions with the community so that we can best plan the dream of what Vertex can become.”

The Denver Post reports Madison House says it requires a three-year permit, for which it originally applied, and not the one-year permit granted by Buena Vista councillors.

“We need a three year permit in order to make the investment that this festival requires to be successful, and hope to re-apply next year,” Sampliner wrote in an email to councillors.

 


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Vertex future unclear with new 85dB noise cap

Vertex, Madison House/AEG Live’s new festival in Colorado, has been given a one-year permit extension for 2017 – albeit with a new noise limit of 85dB that will make festivalgoers “feel like [they’re] in a living room, as opposed to a concert experience”, says festival director Michael Sampliner.

The first Vertex took place in August, and drew 8,000 attendees to a ranch near Buena Vista with a bill that included electronic duo Odesza, Grammy-winning alt-rockers Alabama Shakes and Phish’s Trey Anastasio.

Promoter Madison House had sought a three-year permit extension, and Sampliner told commissioners (councillors) for local authority Chaffee County last week the stringent new noise regulations – and an earlier curfew – could kill the festival before it reaches its second birthday.

“If we had to play at 85dBs, you’re taking out the concert experience,” Sampliner said. “It’s a level at which you would feel like you were in a living room, as opposed to a concert experience. It’s really untenable in any kind of way to put on a show at an 85dB limit.

“We are weighing all of the conditions the county placed to see if we can make it work. We are working through those scenarios now.”

“It’s really untenable in any kind of way to put on a show at an 85dB limit”

Local paper The Chaffee County Times reports those in opposition to to Vertex “stated several notorious issues, mostly related to drug use on the festival grounds and multiple drug busts related to the festival, noise and light disturbances and the 1.30am curfew Friday and Saturday night” at a council meeting last Tuesday.

One Buena Vista resident, Morgan Mahala, said the tense exchange brought “the tension and animosity between the old and the new to surface.”

“The relentless arguing and name calling is not Buena Vista,” Mahala said. “To move forward we have to push selfishness aside, we all have to give a little something up and get to know each other better. We need to use this time as an opportunity to come together and honour the values and integrity of a community that’s truly [city slogan] BV Strong.”

A decision by Madison House is expected this week.

 


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