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Parks & Public Spaces

Application from Live Nation for a two-day music festival to be held at Bryant Park on October 1 and 2, 2016

WHEREAS, Live Nation ("Applicant"), a corporation specializing in event production, has applied for a two-day music festival to be held in Bryant Park (the "Park") on October 1 and 2, 2016; and

WHEREAS, The music festival will be Roots Picnic, a Philadelphia-based music festival that will feature approximately 40 acts of different musical genres, including very high-profile acts that have already received ample media coverage; and

WHEREAS, The music festival will prohibit entry except for individuals bearing tickets, costing $99 for one day or $175 for both days, to the entire park with the exception of a 15-foot passage on the eastern side of the Park; and

WHEREAS, Applicant estimates that the attendance to the musical festival will be 10,000 people; and

WHEREAS, The music festival will be selling food and alcoholic beverages to the attendees; and

WHEREAS, The timing of the event coincides with the removal of the lawn from the Park in preparation for the installation of Bryant Park's annual skating rink and holiday fair; and

WHEREAS, Although Community Board Five has received no specific information from the Applicant about sponsorship details, it is the intention of the Applicant to obtain corporate sponsorship, with the entirety of sponsorship proceeds to be kept by the Bryant Park Corporation; and

WHEREAS, While initially billed as an event in support of the Community Parks Initiative (CPI), a city program to invest in under-resourced parks, the event is now simply being billed as a music festival in Bryant Park, and only a portion of the total proceeds will actually go towards the Community Parks Initiative; and

WHEREAS, While all the major park conservancies are being asked to contribute to the CPI, only Bryant Park Corporation has proposed shutting down an entire park for a paid, commercial event, and at a ticket price point that is prohibitive for most New Yorkers; and

WHEREAS, Recent media coverage confirms that this will be a recurring annual event, which is a major concern to Community Board Five; and

WHEREAS, Regular concerns of the Community Board, such as signage or the identities of corporate sponsors, were not addressed due to the Applicant's desire for confidentiality for some particulars of the event as well as a number of these facets not yet being finalized; and

WHEREAS, The last time an event of this scale took place in Bryant Park (a Shakira concert in 2011), there was an outpouring of objections from the public and from public space advocates city-wide, as New Yorkers were unable to access this vital public space for multiple days of peak park usage, and Community Board Five went on record at that time with extreme concerns about any repeat of that event; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five is highly concerned about the closure of the entirety of Bryant Park for an entire weekend during the Fall season for a commercial event; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommendations denial of the application from Live Nation for a two-day music festival to be held at Bryant Park on October 1 and 2, 2016.

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