Depending on your point of view, Rockfest 2010 was either a slightly messy party or an appalling calamity of unprecedented proportions. The Kansas City Board of Parks and Recreation is holding public forums to get community input before deciding. An open house was held Wednesday morning at the Liberty Memorial, and a second hearing is scheduled for Thursday, June 8, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. Comments can also be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
No one has disputed that May's heavy rains created a muddy mess. The grounds around the Liberty Memorial were soaked, and rain continued the day of the show. Concert-goers made the best of the situation, turning hills into giant slip-and-slides, and the heavy foot traffic turned the area into a swamp by day's end. It took days of expensive repairs to fix the damage, and the Gay Pride Festival was forced to move to Riverfront Park.
Supporters point out that the city was paid $50,000 for the use of the park, and another $50,000 was given to the non-profit organization that operates the Memorial. The damage was cosmetic, largely to the landscaping, and the repairs were both arranged for and paid for by AEG Live Productions.
At Wednesday's hearing, most people were asked to fill out comment cards that will be reviewed and compiled for board members. A few people had the opportunity to speak at the meeting, including local business owner Greg Patterson, who was outspoken in his opposition to the show's return. Others spoke out in favor of allowing Rockfest to return.
For many that attended Rockfest, though, there seems to be little concern about returning to the Liberty Memorial, and a general feeling that the show might move, but it will still go on. That's the sentiment expressed by Amber Wolfe, who says, "Memorial or not? Who cares? Rockfest will still happen. Missouri wants to be stupid and miss out on money? We'll take it to Kansas where it belongs."
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