Summer Nights Faces Suit

Following the last-minute February 28th cancellation of Seattle’s annual Summer Nights concert series, organizer One Reel faces a challenge: a lawsuit that could require a full environmental review before holding the series at Gas Works Park in 2007.

Opponents of moving Summer Nights to Gas Works Park won a small victory in court June 27th when a judge ruled that their lawsuit against the city of Seattle and One Reel can go forward, according to The Seattle Times.

If the citizens group Friends of Gas Works Park goes go to court and wins its suit, the city and One Reel would have to do a full environmental review of the park. The group is concerned about traffic, noise and parking.

The city has reportedly claimed it should not have to do such a review because the concert series is a temporary entertainment event, not a wholesale change to the park.

Friends of Gas Works Park attorney David Bricklin disputed that, saying the city’s plans include building pathways, upgrading utilities and making other permanent changes, according to the Times.

A previous statement from One Reel said: “We’ll continue to work closely with the city, the community and our partners to launch Summer Nights at Gas Works in June 2007.”

The mid-June to August series, which averages about 20 concerts, traditionally took place on a Seattle pier, but had to move last year because of renovations to the site.

Last year’s series site, South Lake Union Park, was expected to be under construction this summer, causing the journey to Gas Works Park. The non-profit One Reel is also the longtime promoter of the Bumbershoot Festival.