Williamsburg Waterfront concert in 2010 (more by Chris Doss)
Williamsburg Waterfront

Brooklyn 11211 blog writes about what went down at last night's CB1 meeting...

"A number of local residents got up during the public session (which usually happens after most of the public has left) and complained about the concerts at East River State Park (the "OSA" concerts). Basically, their complaint was that all the things that Greenpoint residents were afraid would happen if the Brooklyn Night Bazaar went down were already happening to them. Loud music (very loud music if you happen to live right there). Crowds of people walking to and from concerts (and much less steadily on the from side). In other words, a regular shitshow 10 or 15 times each summer.

So, the Community Board voted (unanimously) to ban the waterfront concert series from East River State Park.

It happened before an empty house - I guess the press left before the news happened."

huh? Brooklyn 365 also has the same story...

"After the crowd cleared out the public was allowed to voice their opinions. What came up was the waterfront concert series held at the Williamsburg Waterfront / East River State Park and the cluster-fuck it causes every Saturday and Sunday. The throngs of people ebbing and flowing and the VERY loud music being pumped through the sound stage were the biggest issue and as such, the board voted to ban the waterfront concert series at East River State Park (Williamsburg Waterfront)."

First of all, that sucks. But this is confusing...

  1. Are they differentiating between the free Sunday "OSA concerts" (Jelly concerts) and ticketed AEG-produced concerts? The one article does say "every Saturday and Sunday". The articles make it sound like they mean all concerts, but don't know that last year was not just one "'series." update: After I wrote that I realized that technically all the shows fall under OSA. OSA works/worked with both Jelly and AEG.
  2. No free concert series has been announced in that location for 2011, but if it had been, or if it's secretly being planned, the board is potentially saying "we don't care if you already spent lots of money and planned all these concerts and booked bands already and rented stages and hired staff, etc, etc... concerts cancelled...."
  3. The rumor is that OSA was already looking elsewhere, McCarren Park for instance.
  4. You'd think that they couldn't just ban established concerts without getting both sides of the story first, or at least without letting all interested parties know in advance. update: They maybe can't. See below.
  5. There are supposedly concerts happening at the waterfront this year, but AEG ticketed ones (not Jelly ones). Many of them are most likely already booked. It's hard to believe that if AEG does already have concerts booked there, that this community board meeting decision will cause them to be cancelled. There will be a battle at least...

...lots is unclear actually, and I'm just thinking out loud (and I know nothing about how these things work, and I only just read those two blog articles so details might be missing.). Am I missing anything? To be continued...

UPDATE: Someone wrote in and told me, "I was at the meeting. The board voted for the ban. Not sure whether it's a final thing or not. I would say that its not looking good though. People are ridiculous. Williamsburg neighborhood backlash will get much worse over the next few years."

UPDATE 2: A commenter asks, "do the community boards actually have the power to ban concerts? I was under the impression that they don't have direct power over anything, but that they make recommendations that are usually followed by the relevant City agencies." That makes sense. "Voting to ban" is probably different than actually banning it, though the titles of the two linked blog posts above are "Williamsburg Community Board BANS Waterfront Concerts" and "WILLIAMSBURG BANS MUSIC."

In related news, the beginning of the same community board meeting (the part that had the big crowds and press) is where they discussed not allowing any more liquor licenses in Williamsbrg.

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