Summer Rocks Music Festival Bill Passed By Aldermanic Committee

Categories: Live and Local

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Exothermic/Flickr
St. Louis is one step closer to rocking this summer -- the ICM Partners way.

Wednesday afternoon, the aldermanic convention and tourism committee passed a much-amended Board Bill #328 -- now known among locals as the "Summer Rocks bill" -- which proposes to bring two multi-stage music festivals per year to downtown St. Louis through Los Angeles talent agency ICM Partners. It will now will go before the full board of aldermen, and then the board of estimate and appointment, and if it passes those, Mayor Francis Slay will review the matter no earlier than mid-April.

Update: The fully amended bill now is available on the city's website.

See also: Summer Rocks vs. Lollapalooza: By the Numbers

Only a couple of weeks old, Board Bill #328 already has quite the history. Alderwoman Phyllis Young introduced the bill February 28, and the original 64-page proposal caused an uproar around St. Louis, particularly concerning its nebulous language, a twenty-year contract and a noncompete clause. More questions were raised during a hearing March 6 about how the proposed festivals may have pushed Bluesweek and Taste of St. Louis from downtown to Chesterfield, and if local musicians and vendors would be included in the new venture. And while aldermen met again earlier this week to propose clearer language and protect St. Louis' interests, local musicians wanted to ensure that city leaders heard their pleas to safeguard the Gateway City's cultural heritage.

Judging by the newly clarified Summer Rocks proposal language and the spirited discussion during yesterday's committee meeting, it seems city leaders were listening.

"I'm grateful that so many people have come out to weigh in on it," said Lewis Reed, president of the board of aldermen. "Had it not been for folks like [the public] who weighed in from the beginning, we may not have seen some of these changes [in the proposal]."

Attorney Barbara Geisman opened Wednesday's meeting with amendments to the proposed contract -- amendments that she said the city and ICM had been working on regularly since the previous meeting and some of which were only cemented that morning. Many aldermen questioned the language and intent of some of the amendments, and alderwoman Sharon Tyus showed strong concern about being asked to vote on a major bill without enough time to read the new stacks of information.

Amendment highlights and clarifications:

* Leaders clarified what kinds of events would be prohibited as a "substantially similar" event under the most recent non-compete clause: two- or three-day multi-stage, multi-artist outdoor music festivals with at least 30,000 ticketed attendees per festival day, an average budget of $3.33 million, produced by a for-profit entity. Alderman Scott Ogilvie said that the original non-compete clause regarding this issue was the weakest and most troubling, but the new language makes it clear that homegrown festivals won't be ousted. "There is no existing event in the city that meets these criteria, and there hasn't been an event in recent memory that would be an issue," Ogilvie stressed. "I am personally much more confident now that this is more narrowly crafted." [Edited to add: If any of the grandfathered events mentioned below become as large as Summer Rocks or develop in ways that later make them "similar events" as stipulated in the non-compete clause, those events will not be prohibited -- they may continue to be produced and supported.]

* The non-compete clause now includes the Annie Malone May Day Parade as a non-competitive event that will not need to be altered or moved under the Summer Rocks contract. The parade joins Loufest, Big Muddy Blues Festival, Fair St. Louis and other events and festivals that have been grandfathered in and will not be prohibited by the Summer Rocks contract [Edited to add: Loufest, Big Muddy Blues Festival, Fair St. Louis and the Annie Malone parade currently do not meet the stipulations for "substantially similar" events as explained above, and thus would be permitted to function regardless.]

Continue to page two.



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59 comments
James Madison
James Madison

dream on. Millions of dollars? Not from outside. Most of the attendees are local. Just another tax scheme to blink locals of their monies. A few vendors will get some extra cash, but at the expense of other local establishments not near the event. You are robbing Peter to pay Paul. The outside dollars go into the hands a very few. The tax dollars are small compared to the expenses involved by the city to police and clean up these events. Then you have the expense of pissing off locals when streets are closed or huge traffic jams, and my personal peeve - no parking just because I happen to wanted to go nearby the area and had no clue some idiot scheduled a huge event.

James Madison
James Madison

forget the huge events. Local events are more fun, and do not need to waste huge amounts of government resources, money, and time.

Andrew Franklin
Andrew Franklin

I hope they handle it appropriately, but I don't know...hopefully. :(

John Harrington
John Harrington

It makes it harder for the festivals I help throw like Slumfest- Rock U Fest - Paint Louis & Beats 4 Eats to get support from the City of St. Louis. Bogus!

Candace-Shawn Lynch
Candace-Shawn Lynch

Mathias James Dan Mahfood Jus Time Scott Serlesson Rivers Jonathan Getzschman Zach Chasnoff Darren A. Owens Andrew Franklin Andrew Wiedmann John Harrington just to name a few

Candace-Shawn Lynch
Candace-Shawn Lynch

Fair enough on taste moving but how about local artists being booked at these events and being paid? I bet the bands getting booked are has been hair bands and the next best thing to hit the pop charts. More commercial trash shoved in our face by big corporations and huge record labels. What about the little guys trying to forge out a path for themselves in our local community. We have amazing bands, amazing rap groups, amazing independent record labels, and amazing people who follow and listen to these artists. At the very least there should be a local stage for us. Agree?

Kevin Sears
Kevin Sears

Read the deal. Taste is a free event. The only events threatened are ones that have a $3.3 million daily operating budget and sell 30,000 or more tickets a day. Taste moved for other reasons but saw this as an excuse when people expressed negative opinions about the move.

Robert Carter
Robert Carter

It has no reason why taste of St.Louis is in Chesterfield. The city has to much going on now with Ballpark village and salary cuts they can't put enough police force to patrol. I think this is going to be a huge step and they should do a concert series under the Arch. One concert every week for the entire summer and another spot at Soldiers Memorial

Candace-Shawn Lynch
Candace-Shawn Lynch

Fuck this festival. St. Louis has a bunch of talent that will not be represented at these shows. The group from LA in control of these festivals have no intrest in St. Louis or it's music scene. They are interested in cash only. They are the reason taste of stl is now in the county. Wake up people

Kevin Sears
Kevin Sears

Finally an event that will generate millions of dollars in tax revenue and lure tourists. This is a step in the right direction. I'd rather people associate us with fun than crime.

Greg Hall
Greg Hall

Yeah, its just a tough spot.

Zac Nevill
Zac Nevill

because the local groups cant get the job done? don't have the connections or investors. I'm all about doing things the local way but some things are just better to leave to the pros. downtown festivals are falling apart because the organizers don't want to fundraise any more to cover the costs. that's why we are losing events to chesterfield who will foot the bill and charge admissions.

Zac Nevill
Zac Nevill

yea whats up with all the bitching? this will be great for the lou!

kspotto
kspotto

Local Music has always been a Hallmark of St. Louis, our Roots are made of this Music. I raised my voice as did so many others! Thanks Scott for all your hard work! 


Eric Pauley
Eric Pauley

Depending on the bands I'd love to go.

Bill N Jenn
Bill N Jenn

shocker - this is going to suck so bad. Mark my words

Chris Cunningham
Chris Cunningham

20 years is a long time monopolize the downtown area. And not to mention the destruction of downtown. Take a lesson from what just happened last night at the SXSW Festival.

Jon Woodrome
Jon Woodrome

Absolutely agree David. This city constantly shoots itself in the foot. This is a good thing!

David Ames
David Ames

Good old St. Louis. Crying about anything that might keep us relevant as a major city. Good thing Chicago didn't turn down Lollaplooza.

Jeffrey Nunn
Jeffrey Nunn

It's not a matter so much of local talent per se, but of local talent agencies, concert promoters, and event producers coming together to create the event. Why would you ship all the profits from these events out of town by paying an out of town talent agency, to work with an out of town event planner, which will in turn hire an out of town event production company to produce the event when we have first class companies already capable of doing that right here in St. Louis?

Lyla Turner
Lyla Turner

jay, I was just adding to the list of bile. honestly, i don't even know the particulars. but give me a band wagon and I'm all about it

Jay Alan Babcock
Jay Alan Babcock

Lyla, you know I love you, and that sounds nice, but what form would that take that it hasn't already? We have LouFest; this deal won't kill it. Local musicians are doing great DIY promotion without city interference. And, by some small chance, if the new festivals are really good, why would you want to drive to west county? And why should west county get the revenue instead of the city?

Linda SansSouci
Linda SansSouci

If you're going to "go" with that non-compete clause, forget it!

Christina Coleman Corcoran
Christina Coleman Corcoran

@SoSaidStina: Goodbye free concerts & local #stl talent, hello #SummerRocksFest I have seen amazing local artists and FREE concerts by @theroots @Kellyclarkfdn @CountingCrows @blues_traveler and many more. Fair St Louis is still safe I hope (and moving back to the Arch post construction).

jembm9
jembm9

This sounds great for the city, and the future of music in STL.


Greg Hall
Greg Hall

I hate to say it but, local talent doesn't bring money to a city that is totally broke. I agree it sucks. They will have stages with local talent though and you will be able to see first hand how many people show up to see that local talent vs. a nation wide act. All of these festivals always have a spot for local talent.

Allison Babka
Allison Babka

No, the contract wouldn't begin until 2015, though as mentioned in my previous Summer Rocks article, there's a thing that says they have an option for a Labor Day show this year. That's looking more and more unlikely for a number of reasons.

Lyla Turner
Lyla Turner

do it in chesterfield. St. Louis city needs to embrace it's own talent

Jason Gonulsen
Jason Gonulsen

I guess I didn't realize this earlier, but they are trying to make this happen THIS summer?

Rusty Woody
Rusty Woody

ICM's music "talent" line up is very limited. Although I would look forward to seeing Iggy Pop or Alice in Chains, we are more likely to get Anne Murray or Debby Boone. You can view their talent pool at icmtalent.com. Lame-o

Shanda Beth
Shanda Beth

Please take out the Non-compete clause

ryanbrockschmitt
ryanbrockschmitt

I don't understand how people can be against this. It is going to be great for St. Louis.

Jeffrey Nunn
Jeffrey Nunn

Way to sell out local talent agencies, concert promoters, and event producers St. Louis. Thanks for sending all those profits out of town and ensuring that no local music festivals can be produced in the city on those weekends. You deserve to lose Bluesfest and Taste.

Mary Hery
Mary Hery

To St. Louis, or Chesterfield?

Bob McCollum
Bob McCollum

I bet we get imagine dragons and other huge radio rock crap bands.

kevinmsears
kevinmsears

Then these companies you speak of should have done this already.

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