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Duluth officials debate how late Bayfront shows should go


DNT article: http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/articles/index.cfm?id=70423§ion=homepage

"Let Mayor Ness know your opinion(s) on the Bayfront Festival Park concert curfew issue" - Thursday morning on the KQ Morning Show

email: [email protected]

Mayors office: 218-730-5230

City Council: [email protected]


What's next? Is Don Donny Ness going to propose an ordinance to "keep those damn kids off my lawn"?

I think 10:00 P.M. is too early. If they have to impose a limit, I think 11:00 would be reasonable for outdoor concerts on weeknights, midnight on weekends. I'm sympathetic toward those who get the bulk of the noise floating their way, but it's not like there's concerts there every night/weekend or anything like that.

What shows? What is there, four shows booked there for the whole summer?

Maybe Ness is concerned about the Labor Day picnic getting too crazy. Either that or four shows is too many. We've got to keep that space underused and in the red, like the rest of Duluth's attractions.

I agree that 10 is a bit early. I think 11pm on a weeknight is reasonable, but on weekends 1am should be the earliest a concert would wrap up. I would feel ripped off if I went to a show at 7 or 8 pm and it was over by 10. I find that putting a large box fan in my bedroom window takes care of any noise concern I ever have and box fans are cheap.

i like how ol' craigo says aerosmith or dave mathews band don't come out til late. we would be so lucky to get bands of those caliber to play there. good luck with that craigo!! as a blues fest goer for the last 15-16 years, i think the blues fest gets over about the right time. there is not much overlap in time between when the fest gets over and when the music in the bars start.

The last time I saw Guns N' Roses, Axl hit the stage at around 1:15am.

I wonder if Don Donny has thought about adding a "start time" addendum to this.

At the American Booksellers Convention, held in LA this past spring, Prince invited booksellers and media to his house in Bel Air. I was not invited, but I WAS invited to Larry King's house in Beverly Hills that same evening ( but that's another story). Anyway, Prince apparently performed in his back yard for the lucky few who got invited. He started playing at like 2 am and stopped at like 4 am, so I hear. Don't know if the neighbors complained.

PS -- I'm all for bands playing at Bayfront all night if the crowd is into it. Actually, I think til midnight is good.

Prince gets to do whatever Prince wants.

I hope all of you take a moment to send an email or make a phone call voicing your opinions.

If Prince had invited me to his bash, I'd tell you guys about his new book out this fall. But since he did not invite me to his party, and Larry King invited me to one for Ted Turner, who's coming out with his memoirs, Call Me Ted, this fall, I'll take this opportunity to plug it. If the book is as funny as Ted Turner, who's about 70 and handsome and irrepressible, it's going to be big. So there, Prince.

Maybe if this back-assward of a city had built the damn colleges where the hospitals are, instead of the middle of nowhere, we wouldn't have to deal with half the bullshit that goes on in the "central hillside". "Premier outdoor music venue IN THE STATE"? I want whatever they're smokin' and a lot of it. Don't get me wrong. I love this city. It's beautiful. But seriously, how many of you're favorite bands play here? I'm not gonna go to Wilco just because there's nothing else going on.

Ted Turner smokes whatever Ted Turner wants.

Maybe only let Republican bands play until 4am...during election years..

Maybe only let republican bands play until 4am - during election years - when the convention is in town.

Of Course.. Adam will probably censor this..

I'm not surprise this issue has come up on this board. Adam from the Transitor sponsors some of these events with craig-o s. It's a business decision due to Red Rock Radio and Secret Service. Local Goverment works for those who have a money interested in this. Jeff Anderson is cashing in on his election and that this approval of this extention of performance time only serves Secret Service and Red Rock Radio. How many other promoters use that venue? MONOPOLY!

Adam drinks whatever Adam wants to drink.

Craig Rhode wrote: "How many other promoters use that venue? MONOPOLY! "

Last I checked, Secret Service had nothing to do with Reggae Fest, Blues Fest, Finn Fest or Pride Fest.

I think 11 pm on weeknights and midnight on the weekends is reasonable for a park curfew. I mean, who wants to miss last call?

I have personal knowledge of the many shovels full of sponsorship cash that Adam of the Transistor plows into those Secret Service shows.


Sorry, I don't mean to hate here, but gimme a fucking break Local M.

ps: Bayfront shows should play until at least midnight on weekends (though probably 1am).

10 is too early...midnight is a decent hour...1 am is pushing it...but when you have every other business down there with a "blues tent" playing til all hours...

then again, I'm of the opinion that, what with the recent attempts at "nanny" ordinances (grass length ordinance, auto-on-your-front yard ordinance, et. al)...aww hell...

...anyone getting sick of being told what you can't do?

and who the hell are they listening to that this is all of a sudden an issue? lakeside?

oh sure...Blues Fest is only one of the largest moneymakers in the city...so let's do our damndest to make damn sure it either goes under or leaves town as soon as it's able.


Duluth is a funny little town...I used to care, Now it's funny/sad to watch it's self loathing and $$ driven lack of decision making. For being a commie town it's sure run for those who has the $$. BTW Jeff Anderson is a self serving putz....I'm sad I voted for him. Since when does adam censor this blog?

Adam can play until midnight. Lundgren- off the stage at 8:30.
C-Freak- get off the fucking stage, otter girl.

what about all the friggin' people that work the night shift? events like bluesfest probably really rain on their parade. after all... doesn't that crap start at, like, 10 a.m.?

i say music should only be allowed between 9 p.m. and 9:15 p.m.

that way everyone can be happy.

backstageguy: I don't know when or if you checked at all, but Secret Service most certainly plays a direct role in producing Reggae Fest, Blues Fest, the Saturday night Blues to Rock concert during Finn Fest (the rest of the musical events are held inside the DECC) and for that matter, all events held at Bayfront. They are contracted by the city (DEDA) to manage the park, so by definition, they play a role in all the events held there. See the DEDA resolution approved 6/7/07.

That having been said, I think midnight is an appropriate time to close the park. While Craig S. certainly seems to be making an attempt at utilizing the venue a bit more for concerts, I don't see them occurring frequently enough to cause serious disruptions in people's sleep. Police sirens and St. Mary's Lifeflight rightly have a monopoly on sleep disruption (unless like Baci you are so unfortunate to have rowdy college drunkards next door).

On a side note, I was at the Vanilla Ice show. While the show was horrible, I don't remember the lyrics being particularly offensive. Moreover, the show ended around 9:30. I can understand a resolution limiting the shows to a certain decibel level if they're going past 10 pm but to forbid music past that time period seems unreasonable.

I'm putting forth a resolution censuring self-martyred, conspiracy-minded chooch town metal promoters.

i heard paranoia magazine is doing a feature on the real reason metal bands don't play at luce, yet cars & trucks plays there every week.

it should be a scorcher.

Cars and Trucks is "metal"? I guess "metal" has changed a little.

Shouldn't the Transitor be renamed the "The Weekly Secret Service Concert Newsletter" ??


I hear the blues fest, etc quite well from my house and it does not bother me. I found Tone Loc to actually be amusing (and a little sad). I don't care if they want to play until 12 or 1 am in terms of noise or any such thing. And I bet that Donny doesn't care much, either.

This is another one of those "follow the money" questions. As a person who has some small amount of experience running a live music establishment I can tell you that on big weekends like Grandma's and bluesfest it is nice to capitalize on all of the people in town by having great bands in your place AFTER things shut down at the park. And they come like that, too. Almost no one until 10 and then BAM the places fills up almost immediately. By 12 you have a full house people are having fun and spending money until 1 or (now) 2 am. If the shows go until 12 or 1 then people will stay until the end and most of them will be tired (or drunk) enough to call it a night.

As for bluesfest? I am not a huge fan, of it but I am glad that it is here. I have seen lots of great music on bluesfest weekends, but I've only actually been down there for the show once.

If the festival goes until 12 or 1 then it is going to kill all of the peripheral activity at bars in canal park (which doesn't really bother me) but it will also affect places like RTs, the LOOCH and even Bev's and other spots in Super Duper Town. And those other venues don't just play the blues ... in fact, I think that blues fest weekend would be a great time for a Local M show somewhere. It would draw a lot of crossover fans ... but only if the blues fest gets done about ten.

And ... on this line, I can't help but mention that the city of Duluth and Mayor Ness are very cognizant of this fact, because when the Fire Marshall closed the NorShor theater in August 2005, it was done INTENTIONALLY a few days before the BLues Fest and Donny Ness worked hard to get him to reconsider because he knew just how important it was for the local arts scene ... but that's a peripheral point. And althoug hI could go on and on ... I won't.

Wait just a damn minute here! When did Tone Loc play here?!?!

If I missed that I am going to be one pissed of monkey.


I am well aware that Secret Service has a contract with the city to manage Bayfront Park. Running a venue and putting up the money("producing") to present shows are two very different things.

So no matter what happens Secret Service is involved?

Funny. Smells like a Monopoly.

backstageguy: "Last I checked, Secret Service had nothing to do with Reggae Fest, Blues Fest, Finn Fest or Pride Fest."

I too am well aware that running a venue and producing a show are two different things. Perhaps you failed to differentiate between the two in your first comment.

seceret service has nothing to do with the operation of the D/S Pride Fest. involved? seceret service emailed me the standard contract written by the city attorney and approved by the council. that's it. not quite the monopoly you fear craig r. i have had no problems working with seceret service.
in my experience, if folks work together we can accopmlish almost anything. bitching and blaming only burns bridges in a community this size and makes you sound like a bitter baby.

as for bashing adam-you are so off base on that one i don't even know how to respond without flipping out. and we don't want c-freak flipping out on a friday......

I guess the fireworks will have to start at 9:00pm because they have to be done by 10:00pm. If Bayfront has a time limit street dances should too. I live by Mr.D's and I have to hear loud music til midnight. Will they have to stop at 10:00? Duluth just doesn't want anything good to happen here.

Hey Adam, Looks like your buddy Secret Service messed up the concert on purpose to serve Jeff Anderson's new proposal. Wow....

Poor Donny has really been stumbling and bumbling lately...

What a royal screw up, I am so glad I did not buy $40 tickets for this concert. I can't believe that SS started the concert a half hour early and didn't get the word out! He should have been blanketing the airwaves! This incident makes Duluth look like a hick town full of duds who hate to party. I hope the mayor and city council see reason and let Bayfront concerts go later than 10 pm -- after all, the fireworks on the 4th went later than 10 pm, I'm sure. And I hear that there weren't enough porta potties and only one cash register at the beer tent. I'm glad that Blues Fest is better run than this concert was.

I reluctantly agree with Claire on this one, I am glad I didn't fork over the 40 bucks, either.

I say "reluctantly" because I really like the fact that promoters are working so hard to try some new things in this town ... And I hate to see them fail. But the word is that this show didn't work very well on several fronts.

I still think shows shouldn't go past ten if we want places like Mr. D's to make money for concerts and events.

One problem in this case is that it was a weekday and people aren't quite ready for a concert at 5 pm.

For the other big shows coming up maybe they will have a change of rules and we can all see what happens if shows go until 12. My guess is that some of our favorite local entertainment venues will take a hit at the cash register ... Make that REGISTERS, wouldn't want another long line for beer ...

Other issues

I had sent any email earlier that day with this simple question: Any opportunity for photos?

His reply: Yes, no flash and no pro rig.

Which is great. However, I have heard several complaints from people who were not allowed to bring in cameras. (?)

Second complaint was the location and lack of portable toilets. You would think the ticket sales would be a good indication of how many provide!

As stated, there was confusion regarding time and finally, my personal irritation - the fact that they had placed a barragde half-way up the lawn to segregate the seating/price tiers. WHAT A WASTE OF SPACE! Not to mention the view the majority of the ticket holders had was very dissapointing. Don't get me wrong - I understand the business aspect of charging more for better seats, hell - I'm all for it! It's the poor layout and planning that left a bad taste in my mouth.

Hopefully, all involved learn from their mistakes and make the appropriate changes for future events.

PS The bands were great.

I see your point, JP, about shows ending early enough for concert goers to hit the local bars. But this draconian "people have to be out of Bayfront by 11 pm" business is stupid. I put my $$ down, I don't want to be rushed. I'm wondering if perhaps Secret Service hadn't overreached -- 3 bands, starting at 7 pm and they have to shut it down 3 hours later? Yikes, that might have worked maybe if there'd been 2 bands, but 3? And the most popular act goes first? Huh?. There's no excuse for the lack of organization -- long lines for tickets, entry, porta potties, beer. . . I go to BluesFest and everything runs so smoothly. I just think that Samborski might not have the ability to pull off concerts that size. I want bands like Dave Matthews to come to Duluth, but, at the same time, I don't want to waste my $$ on going to shows that are poorly organized and make Duluth look bad. My attitude is if you do something, you'd better first know what you are doing and do it well, not do a half-assed job.

"Hear, all ye good people, hear what this brilliant and eloquent speaker has to say!"

Claire - I couldn't agree more.

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