Questions Remain About Summer Rocks Festivals; Vote Postponed
For seven days, St. Louis has been speculating about what Board Bill #328 could mean for downtown as a tourist destination and music haven. Multiple large-scale festivals? Ousted local events? Big music names? A burden on city resources?
But after an aldermanic hearing yesterday, we're only marginally closer to figuring out what twenty years of the proposed Summer Rocks festivals are and how they might affect the Gateway City.
See also: Bluesweek Moves to Chesterfield Due to Financial Woes
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- Summer Rocks Festival Proposal Scrutinized Over No-Compete Concerns
City leaders, Summer Rocks festival promoters ICM Partners and guests spoke during the public hearing, called primarily to address concerns about language in Bill #328. Both proponents and detractors of the bill questioned the proposed contract's duration, the non-compete clause, the city's gains and the effect on music festivals already in place. Here's what you need to know, from reporters who were on the scene during the meeting:
WHAT IS SUMMER ROCKS?
These will be multi-day, multi-stage festivals that feature major national acts in country and in rock music. Promoters drew comparisons to other well-known, large-scale festivals:
Really enjoying old white people explaining how cool sxsw and lollapollooza are— Nancy Stiles (@nancerdancer) March 6, 2014
WHEN ARE THESE FESTIVALS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN?
Summer Rocks festivals are proposed for Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, beginning in 2015 for up to twenty years. They will be held in downtown St. Louis on the Gateway Mall along Market Street. See the map in our previous story.
WHAT'S IN THIS NON-COMPETE CLAUSE?
@RiverfrontTimes is the language of the non compete going to be addressed today?— Sehorn (@Jcs192) March 6, 2014
The original language for Board Bill #328 can be found here. The bill at yesterday's hearing presented was narrowed quite a bit, though. Scott Ogilvie, alderman of the 24th ward, tweeted the new language:
WHERE IS THE NON-COMPETE CLAUSE IN EFFECT?
Locally, there can be no competing festival in the Summer Rocks area downtown -- so roughly from Tucker west to about 20th Street. Nationally is a different story, though. Initially, the proposal said that the city would prohibit ICM Partners from staging similar Summer Rocks events within a 300-mile radius. But ICM now has agreed to expand the radius to 350 miles, meaning no Summer Rocks in Chicago, Cincinnati, and more:
City officials still would like to increase the radius even further:
Shane Cohn wants to increase noncompete to 400 miles so summer rocks couldn't do festivals in like, little rock and Des Moines— Nancy Stiles (@nancerdancer) March 6, 2014
WHEN IS THE NON-COMPETE CLAUSE IN EFFECT?
Previous, more nebulous language suggested that the city could not issue permits for similar events staged around the Summer Rocks festivals on Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. However, new language has clarified and extended the non-compete quite a bit, between the two holidays instead of just around them:
And yes, new non-compete DOES extend b/w Memorial and Labor Day. That appears to be new to substitute bill.— Rachel Lippmann (@rlippmann) March 6, 2014
ICM confirming that no other major for-profit music festivals can get permit b/w Mem and Labor. @ward24stl concerned about Forest Park.— Rachel Lippmann (@rlippmann) March 6, 2014
So the non-compete would be in effect for the entire summer, essentially.
Continue to page two for more on the proposed festival.