Freedom From A Tight Budget

There’s bad news in Sterling Heights, Mich., but for once Freedom Hill Amphitheatre isn’t affected.

Freedom Hill has survived many years of lawsuits and NIMBY unrest to come out with a full summer schedule and what looks to be a good future. It also is apparently unaffected by a recent decision by Macomb County commissioners to eliminate county-hosted festivals and events at the shed because of a $33 million budget deficit.

The $3.5 million in cuts also include laying off 23 employees from Freedom Hill Park, which includes the amphitheatre, and eliminating the Parks and Recreation Department, according to the Detroit Free-Press.

“We have to make painful cuts everywhere in the county,” Commissioner Sue Rocca told the paper. The county’s five attorneys and two security guards who patrol county buildings were some other sacrifices, the paper said.

“Needless to say, Macomb County’s decision to eliminate its staff at Freedom Hill County Park has raised questions from not only industry insiders, but also from our loyal stable of sponsors and season ticket holders,” amphitheatre spokesman Hank Riberas told Pollstar. “As for commenting on the Macomb County Board of Commissioners’ decision, we can only assume that the County has taken the steps it deemed to be necessary to begin to deal with its current $33 million budget deficit.

“Freedom Hill Amphitheater is not closed, should not be affected by this decision, and will continue to be operated as it has been since 1999 by Hillside Productions.”