Rothbury council OKs 10-year EF permit.

November 5, 2019

Rothbury council OKs 10-year EF permit.


By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

ROTHBURY – The Rothbury Village Council approved an amended mass gathering permit for the Electric Forest Festival at the Double JJ Resort with a 5-2 vote Monday, Nov. 4, during special session.

The permit is a 10-year agreement between the village council and event producers, Madison House. Next year marks the 10th anniversary of the enormous music festival that attracts people from all over the US and other countries.

The council accepted the permit – with provisions, Oct. 22, and it went back to the event producers for their approval. Madison House countered with an amended permit, and council approved it Monday.

“That’s why we’re here today – to consider those changes,” said Village Attorney Matt Mills.

A source of discussion was Madison House’s revision of the surcharge fees on tickets that the village collects. The village was seeking a $7.50 surcharge for each ticket sold to the event that draws approximately 40,000 people annually.

The village has been receiving $6 per ticket the last three years since the Double JJ annexed into the village limits. Previously, the festival was under Grant Township’s jurisdiction.

Funds from the surcharge fees go to the village to pay for road improvements, council members said. Increased traffic from the festival takes its toll on the rural roads.

“They thought it was a bit high,” said Mills. Madison House suggested that the village start out at $6.50 and then cap it at $7.50 over 10 years. Council ultimately accepted that amendment to the permit.

Robert Fulljames, who was one of the two council members who voted against the amended permit, said “I don’t agree with it.” After the meeting, he told OCP, “I think they’re getting away too cheap.”

“They charged the local vendors too much,” Fulljames said during the meeting. “We don’t have any more local vendors.”

Councilwoman Autumn Drake noted that the surcharge is being paid by the ticket buyers – not the ticket sellers.

“It’s got to be good for both parties,” said Village President Scott Beishuizen, who cast the other “no” vote on the amended permit.

“We’re hoping there is going to be a festival for 10 years,” said Councilwoman Cindy Cruz, “but there is no guarantee that there is.”

Included in the permit is language that the festival could have an added “early entry day,” Fulljames said. However, the producers would have to give the village six months notice if they decided to have an added day. The festival runs Thursday through Sunday at the end of June, and in recent years, a Wednesday “early entry day” was added. The amended permit would allow for festival organizers to have a Tuesday “early entry day” as well.

The 2020 event is set for June 25-28.

Electric Forest began in 2011, followed its predecessor ROTHBURY in 2008 and 2009.

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