The reviews are in on the new style East End Fest and people don't like it
Posted at: 08/10/2012 10:34 PM
| Updated at: 08/11/2012 12:48 AM
By: Berkeley Brean | WHEC.com
At least that's the reaction we got from people who want to be at the East End Fest. For those who live and own businesses down here, the attitude is a lot different.
You can find information on a petition to maintain the East End Fest below
This was the last East End Fest of the summer and if you've come downtown for the festival before -- you wouldn't have recognized this one.
Normally, East Avenue is shut down and full of people, but because of the iffy weather tonight the organizers decided to scale it down, keep the street open and squeeze the music into a the parking lot.
They also called it a dress rehearsal for the festival next summer. The critics just didn't buy it tonight.
"There's not that many people here. What's the difference?" Brandon Prock said, asking his rhetorical question to business owners in the East End. "You lost a lot of business."
This is not the first East End Fest for Prock and his friends, but it's the first one they haven't liked.
"I don't like it. It's just not fun. There was like all different stages before and you could walk around and now you stay in one spot and I don't see any music going on,' Liz Williamson said (during a definite break in the music).
"A little disappointed," Kristen Jaranowski said. "It used to be a little more lively a little more exciting, especially with the roads closed walking up and down, a ton of people."
The festival changed tonight.
Earlier this summer, the street was closed with East Avenue full of people.
Tonight the street was open to cars and the music off in one corner.
"We don't want to deviate from the model that's been successful for 22 years," organizer John Hutchings said. He said they're just trying to be sensitive to the people who live and work down here.
"Picture yourself in these residents shoes and to have 10,000 people in your front yard three nights a year," he said. "Just being part of the neighborhood for the last eight years as I've been as a business owner I can understand where they're coming from."
Now he just needs the people who come here to understand. That could be the toughest crowd to please after all.
"I think these people need to stop whining," Prock said.
"You still got to come out because it might be the last one," Jaranowski said. (The organizers insist it is not the last East End Fest).
One business owner downtown told News10NBC today that festivals change neighborhoods and "when neighborhoods change, the festival needs to change." So he liked what happen tonight.
The other problem historically was that people who lived here used to have to show proof of their address or pay $5 to get to their apartment. With East Avenue open, that wasn't a problem tonight.
There is a petition in an effort to keep the East End Fest operating the way it has in the past.
Click here for a link to the petition.