City Council OKs money for music festival at Lake Tye Park
MONROE - The parks department got the green light from the City Council last week to spend $40,000 to bring a music festival to town.
“This is really something to bring our community together,” parks director Mike Farrell said.
Farrell has been working with city finance director Dianne Nelson to solidify cost figures and ensure the city gets its money back through revenue generated from the event.
“We’re being conservative on the revenue estimates and revising upward on the costs,” Farrell said.
His original proposal presented at a council meeting in January asked for a $50,000 budget. Councilman Tom Williams suggested bumping that figure down after Farrell’s most recent and more conservative revisions this week indicated it would only take $36,500 to fund the venture.
Farrell wants to schedule the festival for a Saturday in September at Lake Tye Park. Farrell wants to book one to two opening acts and a headliner. There will be a beer and wine garden. Tickets will probably cost around $20.
Monroe resident, experienced event promoter and musician Keith Brock is working closely with Farrell on the details to ensure the event’s success. In addition to being a traveling musician, Brock produces and engineers music, owns a music studio in Los Angeles and has worked on movie scores for films such as “The Lion King” and “Gladiator.”
“As a child, I used to walk here along Main Street and often wondered where my life would take me,” Brock said. “I’m blessed to be able to come back full circle and to be able to have a chance to help this community that helped me survive and give me hope for what later in life I would come to do.”
Brock said he has a vision for the event.
“This is geared to promote this community and to thank them and inspire them all at the same time,” Brock said. “I like to see an opportunity and expand upon it.”
Brock’s neighbor on the outskirts of Monroe is vocalist John Popper of the band Blues Traveler. Brock said the two have talked about the event and both are excited to be involved.
Monroe Chamber of Commerce director Annique Bennett spoke before the meeting in support of the event and urged council members to consider the proposal.
The chamber, she said, likely will take control of the beer garden.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase craft alcohol and promote quality over quantity,” Bennett said. “I have a great relationship with the liquor control board and I take this very, very seriously.”
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