We’ve hearing in the newspaper about the proposed Heaven Fest Christian music concert which – if a City permit will be granted – will be held at the City’s Union Reservoir this July. Unfortunately, we’ve only been given the rose-colored, glowing “good” side of the story. As a citizen of Longmont, I am concerned about the potential negative consequences of permitting this event to go forward – or others like it – without a fair and adequate analysis being done of the actual costs and benefits to the City.
Think of it -Heaven Fest is promoting on its website that it will have room this year for more than 50,000 concert goers. A concert of this magnitude – 50,000 concert goers – would attract to our small city for a multi-day event, a clientele whose population would almost double the population of our City. This is no small matter – it is huge. I am very concerned that our City is rushing into this permitting process, without having given enough thought to the potential negative consequences.
For instance, has anybody in the City contacted the City of Boulder and found out why the Kinetics Races, which had been held in Boulder and had attracted huge crowds similar to those expected by Heaven Fest – was no longer happening in Boulder? Has anybody found out what the actual costs of the Kinetics Races were to the City of Boulder, such as the police, cleanup, or power-related expenses, as well as finding out what the quality-of-life and environmental impacts had been? Similarly, has anybody from the City of Longmont gotten an opinion from the Division of Wildlife or other bona fide wildlife expert, concerning what the possible negative effects on wildlife and plant life might be, of placing such a huge amount of people into the environmentally-sensitive Reservoir?
These are serious questions – and I don’t think they have been adequately analyzed yet. Even larger questions than these, I believe are not being addressed. These are: do the citizens of our small town really want to be deluged by crowds as large as those expected at Heaven Fest, and do they really want our recreation areas to be turned over to huge commercial ventures? I, personally, have serious reservations about these kind of ventures being held on our public lands, and I imagine others do to. Yet such concerns are not even being mentioned, much less being addressed.
So I urge Council and the City to slow down the freight train here, and give much more adequate consideration to whether the huge Heaven Fest event is an appropriate event for our City. I am not convinced that it is.