Festival Trial Decided

A concert promoter’s constitutional rights were not violated when the 2009 Summer Solstice Projekt was shut down after its opening night and its permits revoked by Frederick County, Md., officials, a federal jury has decided after three days of testimony.

Promoter Dale Ihnken and his Ihnken Productions sought $7.5 million for lost income, punitive damages, his attorney’s fees and court costs since filing the lawsuit in December 2011, according to the Frederick News-Post. The Summer Solstice Projekt was to take place at Hawkwood Farm outside Myersville June 18-21, 2009.

Frederick County Zoning Administrator Larry Smith and Sheriff Chuck Jenkins went out to the festival June 19 to check out several noise complaints, which led to revoking the permit and sending campers and artists packing.

The county argued that Ihnken was given constitutionally adequate notice under the circumstances, while Ihnken claimed the opposite. The jury was seated in late August to consider the only remaining issue in the case: whether Sheriff Jenkins or Smith violated Ihnken’s due process rights under the Maryland Declaration of Rights and the 14th Amendment by closing the festival, the News-Post said.