by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com
And the river continues to rise…
Playing with Fire organizer Jeff Davis contacted me yesterday to tell me that this year’s Playing With Fire featuring the impeccable Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings has moved from the backup location west of Lewis & Clark Landing all the way to Stinson Park at Aksarben Village.
“What’s happening is that ultimately we think Riverfront Drive will close completely,” Davis said. “We understand they’re going to dig a 50-foot canal to Riverfront Drive that will fill up with water and raw sewage.”
So despite being able to save a bundle on port-a-johns, Davis decided it would be a better idea to move the event. “We’d like to present our city in a better fashion,” he said. “We think there will be a lot of people coming from out of town for this show.”
Davis said he’s been working with Lisa Bachmann, who manages the park’s facility, and is trying to get Mercy Road closed for the event. The park apparently has a covered concrete stage but is limiting what Davis will be allowed to hang from it. “We’ll have to build a stage extension and put light towers on the side,” he said. “It’s a major deal.”
But the bottom line: There was no place left to go. The PWF team looked at a number of locations, none of which made sense for the event, especially if they wanted to control the vending and alcohol sales.
To me, PWF is a major boon for Stinson and Aksarben, a major attraction that will introduce a number of people to the area and what it has to offer.
Now with PWF figured out, the question remains: What about the MAHA Music Festival. Organizer Tre Brashear confirmed that the show is moving. “City hasn’t specifically told us we need to move, but there are just too many unknowns with the riverfront right now and it would be too hard to move MAHA on short notice,” Brashear said.
“That said, we don’t have a new spot selected yet, but are working daily to try and figure it out. (We) had our production people out to two sites to work up cost estimates. (We) hope to have some news to announce on the issue within the next two weeks.”
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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.