What you need to know about big mu­sic fest

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By Dy­lan Owens and Jon Mur­ray

Last week, the city of Den­ver re­leased the ne­go­ti­ated terms for al­low­ing fes­ti­val or­ga­nizer Su­per­fly Pro­duc­tions, the pro­moter be­hind Out­side Lands and Bon­na­roo, two of the coun­try’s larger mu­sic events, to hold a large-scale mu­sic fes­ti­val at Over­land Park, a city-owned golf course in Den­ver’s Ruby Hill neigh­bor­hood.

City of­fi­cials and Su­per­fly had been in talks for months, and now the con­tract goes to the City Coun­cil — which could vote as soon as Monday.

If the con­tract passes the coun­cil vote, the fes­ti­val will be of­fi­cially sanc­tioned, al­low­ing Su­per­fly to go for­ward with the event for at least the next five years.

With its fate still up in the air, here’s what we do and don’t know about the pend­ing fes­ti­val.

Gen­eral ques­tions Is the fes­ti­val ac­tu­ally go­ing to hap­pen? It’s hard to say. Some Den­ver City

Coun­cil mem­bers, in­clud­ing Jolon Clark — whose south Den­ver dis­trict in­cludes Over­land Park Golf Course — have viewed the idea fa­vor­ably. Oth­ers were wait­ing to see the con­tract’s de­tails, which they’ll now re­view in depth be­fore Monday’s meet­ing.

Coun­cil­man Paul Kash­mann is among those who have said they want to en­sure there are enough pro­tec­tions for neigh­bors and suf­fi­cient plans re­quired to get to at­ten­dees to the site, keep park­ing away from the ad­ja­cent neigh­bor­hoods and ad­dress other po­ten­tial is­sues.

The coun­cil will let sup­port­ers and op­po­nents sound off dur­ing a one-hour pub­lic hear­ing at its 5:30 p.m. meet­ing on July 24. It could then vote to ap­prove the con­tract — or hold off for an­other week if coun­cil mem­bers want more time to digest the agree­ment.

How many years would the fes­ti­val be in Den­ver? The con­tract stip­u­lates a

five-year deal (end­ing in 2022), but that could change if the first year doesn’t go smoothly or there are breaches of the terms. The con­tract would be reeval­u­ated af­ter the term ends.

When would the fes­ti­val take

place? From noon to 10 p.m. on the sec­ond or third week­end (Fri­day through Sun­day) of Septem­ber 2018.

How big will it be? Or­ga­niz­ers en­vi­sion 30,000 to 40,000 at­ten­dees each day in the first year, with the crowd grow­ing af­ter that. The con­tract caps at­ten­dance at 80,000 a day.

How will you get to the fes­ti­val?

Ac­cord­ing to Grace López Ramírez, the com­mu­nity li­ai­son for Den­ver’s Of­fice of Spe­cial Events, or­ga­niz­ers are plan­ning on pro­mot­ing this as a no-driv­ing fes­ti­val. Su­per­fly would pro­vide a free bike valet and a shut­tle sys­tem to the fes­ti­val from satel­lite park­ing — per­haps in cen­tral Den­ver — as well as a ride-share kiosk. The or­ga­nizer also is talk­ing to the Re­gional Trans­porta­tion Dis­trict about tran­sit ac­cess for fes­ti­val-go­ers.

Mu­sic What bands will play the fes­ti­val? The fes­ti­val

hasn’t been con­firmed yet, so it’s too early to tell. Head­lin­ing acts for a fes­ti­val of this size typ­i­cally book shows a year out, ac­cord­ing to Su­per­fly co­founder Rick Far­man, which would mean the or­ga­niz­ers would likely know by Septem­ber. But even then, for mar­ket­ing pur­poses, they likely wouldn’t an­nounce any­thing un­til closer to the fes­ti­val’s date.

Far­man said that the fes­ti­val would look to book a wide range of acts that rep­re­sented Den­ver’s tastes, ref­er­enc­ing bands that ap­pealed to older and younger au­di­ences. The fes­ti­val would also look to book acts from the lo­cal mu­sic scene, and men­tioned the pos­si­bil­ity of an all-lo­cal stage. For a point of ref­er­ence, you could look to Lost Lake Fes­ti­val, a brand new Su­per­fly fes­ti­val in Phoenix that would be sim­i­larly sized to the one in Den­ver. The Killers, Chance the Rap­per, Ma­jor Lazer and ODESZA are head­lin­ing the fes­ti­val’s first year.

How loud will the fes­ti­val be? The fes­ti­val

would be re­quired to com­ply with the city’s noise or­di­nance, sets lim­its for sound pro­duced by am­pli­fiers at events. There also will be a plan to mon­i­tor sound lev­els on the grounds and in a nearby neigh­bor­hood.

How many stages will there be? There would be

four stages to­tal: A main stage, two aux­il­iary mu­sic stages and a com­edy stage. But or­ga­niz­ers cau­tion that the fes­ti­val’s lay­out could change.

What will the fes­ti­val be called? All of the fes­ti­val’s

mar­ket­ing information is still forth­com­ing, in­clud­ing its name.

Money How much is this cost­ing Su­per­fly? Su­per­fly

would rent Over­land Park golf course for $200,000, and pay $5,000 for ev­ery day they may need at the course over the 5-week pe­riod they’re al­lot­ted for set-up and tear-down. They’d also pay $90,000 to the Golf En­ter­prise Fund for land­scap­ing work, and $25,000 to pro­vide a golfer dis­count for dis­placed golfers to play at other city cour­ses dur­ing the clo­sure. Su­per­fly would also pay for all of the city’s la­bor costs while it rents the park, such as rangers and main­te­nance staff. In ex­change, the city would waive the ex­pected ex­penses for po­lice, fire and waste man­age­ment, up to $200,000.

Will any of the money from ticket sales benef it Den­ver? The city of Den­ver

will re­ceive a seat tax of 10 per­cent of ticket sales. Two dol­lars of ev­ery ticket sold will go to the Golf En­ter­prise Fund, and an ad­di­tional $1 of ev­ery ticket sold will go into a fund to ben­e­fit Over­land Park Golf Course and its sur­round­ing neigh­bor­hoods.

Su­per­fly has se­lected the Over­land Park Golf Course as the venue for its next mas­sive mu­sic fes­ti­val in Den­ver, Colorado. (Gabriel Scar­lett, The Den­ver Post)

The golf course How long would the Over­land golf course be closed? The golf course

will be closed for about 5 weeks. It will close two weeks prior to the fes­ti­val to ac­com­mo­date the load in, and re­open three weeks af­ter the fes­ti­val to give Su­per­fly time to clean up the site.

What if the fes­ti­val trashes the golf course?

Su­per­fly is ex­pected to re­turn Over­land to the con­di­tion they found it, if not bet­ter. The city will hold a $50,000 dam­age de­posit from Su­per­fly that can be re­funded if an in­de­pen­dent firm judges the site to be up to stan­dard. The fes­ti­val or­ga­nizer also must take out in­sur­ance and a $1.5 mil­lion bond.

How will the city pro­tect the golf course? Su­per­fly

will have to fence off greens and tee boxes, along with nat­u­ral ar­eas on the course, dur­ing the event. Its plans call for the main stage to be on the driv­ing range, with other stages on fair­ways.

Gabriel Scar­lett, The Den­ver Post

New York-based mar­ket­ing and event com­pany Su­per­fly has se­lected the Over­land Park Golf Course in Den­ver as the venue for its next mas­sive mu­sic fes­ti­val.

Trixie Tex­tor, Getty Images

Mu­sic fans walk by the Sutro Stage as the Alabama Shakes per­form at the 2012 Out­side Lands Mu­sic Fes­ti­val held at Golden Gate Park in Au­gust 2012 in San Fran­cisco, Calif.

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