By Jeff Todd
DENVER (CBS4)– Despite more opposition than support, the City of Denver is moving forward with plans for a massive music festival at the historic Overland Park Golf Course.
The city is now working on a multi-year contract with the promoter Superfly, which has put on similar events in San Francisco and Tennessee, for a festival that would bring crowds between 30,000 to 60,000 people per day.
Since public meeting started earlier this year, city officials have said if the nearby neighborhoods didn’t support the festival then it wouldn’t happen.
“What I really feel is betrayed I feel utterly betrayed, by the city, by my councilperson and by my neighborhood association,” said Helene Orr, who lives across the street from the golf course. “First of all it’s a golf course not a concert venue there’s absolutely no infrastructure to support it, there’s no parking there’s no nothing.”
Orr spent the past few months gathering nearly 500 signatures opposed to the project.
The Parks Department released statistics associated with an online survey and other public engagement.
In total, the city heard from 718 people against the project and 682 in favor.
“Community input was key in the decision to move to the next step. We learned so much about what is important to our neighborhoods and that protecting them from impacts like trash, sound, and parking are as vital as protecting the landscape, turf, and wildlife that we so value about our green spaces,” said Jolon Clark, Councilman for District 7 in a statement.
“The community process highlighted the values, interests and concerns of a diverse community,” said Happy Haynes, Executive Director of Denver Parks and Recreation in a statement. “In the next stage of the process, our commitment is to fulfill the guidelines we set forth during the community input process. We are confident that we can reach an agreement that accomplishes that goal. We pledge to hold the event organizers accountable to protecting that which is valuable to our city, its residents and neighborhoods.”
“It was kind of a done deal from the get go and in fact they weren’t ever really interested in getting neighborhood approval. In my view it’s really been a process of manufacturing consent it’s not about building consensus or finding out if people really, really want it,” Orr said.
There’s no timeline for completing the contract but it’s expected to be finalized in the summer or fall and then head to the city council for final approval.
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.