Updated: 06/14/2014 1:13 PM
Created: 06/13/2014 10:54 PM WHEC.com
By: Rachel Spotts
It is one of the biggest nights of the year in downtown Rochester. Safety is always a priority, but this year it is an even bigger concern. A recent shooting in the East End prompted police and business owners to beef up security.
Thousands of people crowded onto East Avenue for the festival, but with three recent shootings in the area, News10NBC wanted to see how much of an issue safety is here. Organizers say while it isn’t too much of a concern, they still have a large security presence.
John Hutchings, East End Fest, said, “We have eighteen Rochester police officers here, we have over 40 paid security guards, professional security guards. We have the safest track record of any festival in town.”
With two men shot just last week in Rochester’s East End, plus another man shot outside Captain’s Attic back in March, News10NBC had one question coming into the annual East End Festival—is it safe? While organizers say yes, they still made sure security guards were out in force. Thankfully, no issues came up, just a lot of people out enjoying the music.
The East End Festival has been attracting thousands of people for 24 years, but there have been a few bumps along the way. After holding three of the festivals each summer, organizers say last year they had to cut back to one festival, largely because of complaints from residents.
Hutchings said, “The parties that were at odds with each other in the neighborhood, we came together, we figured out a solution and seemingly everybody is happy.”
A lot of the people say they come to the East End Festival every year, but not everyone is a fan. A few residents who live in the area say the noise and commotion is too much to take. One woman says it was so noisy she had to leave her home.