Festival Neighbors Fear ‘Woodstock’

Permits are expected to be issued at any time for the proposed Revolution Music Festival near  in Connecticut, but not before nearby residents made it clear they aren’t happy about it.  

One local official went so far as suggest, during a May 16 special meeting, that residents might petition for the matter to be sent to a town meeting for a vote in Preston, Conn. The proposed festival would take place Sept. 17 on land described as an open field, owned by the Mashantucket Pequod Tribe that owns and operates Foxwoods, feature 15-20 bands on two or three stages and have a capacity of up to 25,000, according to the The Day of New London, Conn.

Residents fear the event will bring noise, clogged roads, and negative impacts on Preston’s (population: 4,726) emergency departments. They particularly fear traffic on Route 2, the mostly two-lane main road in and out of the area (it expands to four lanes near Foxwoods).

Joe Litvag, a senior VP with AEG Live, and Mashantucket tribal leaders attended the meeting and attempted to convince the residents and local officials their fears are unfounded.

AEG Live said it will cover the cost of security, traffic management and emergency medical operations, in addition to paying for permits, according to The Day. Litvag also had to calm fears that the event would turn into a “Woodstock”-type “free for all,” according to the paper.

He explained that “the business has become very regulated since” 1969 and added the entire concert site would be secure. Staff would handle logistics of parking as well as pedestrian crossing of Route 2 from parking lots to the concert site. Nearby traffic flow would fall under the eyes of 20-30 state police officers, Litvag told the audience. Event security would include entry checkpoints and searches of handbags and coolers, a licensed and bonded security company and off-duty uniformed police.

First Selectman Robert Congdon and others apparently remained skeptical, however.

“The town has no provision to waive the state’s noise level requirements,” Congdon reportedly said. “Noise is going to be an issue.” “This isn’t the right place for it,” resident John Waggoner reportedly said. “You can’t handle all that traffic on roads like this. It will be a nightmare.”