Governor’s Ball creators petition against planned Flushing Meadows Park festival

The founders of music festival Governor's Ball began a petition to force AEG Live to change the date of a proposed music festival taking place at a similar time.
Photo courtesy of Flickr/Brad Frost

The creators of Governor’s Ball, the independent music festival started in 2011, are fighting back against monolith AEG Live for what they are calling an “aggressive, greedy attempt” to put the festival out of business.

AEG Live is petitioning city officials to use Flushing Meadows Corona Park as a venue for a weekend-long music festival, titled “Panorama.” The festival would take place only two weeks after Governor’s Ball, which is held at Randall’s Island during the first week of June.

The festival’s founders created a petition on change.org on Thursday, calling for supporters to ask Mayor Bill de Blasio to reject AEG Live’s proposal and force them to hold the festival at another time.

“As a small, independent company in an industry dominated by major corporations and rapid consolidation, we’ve come a long way and given hundreds of thousands of you first-class entertainment,” the petition read. “Sadly, today our future is in jeopardy and we need your help.”

The founders added that AEG Live is attempting to push a company “of born and bred New Yorkers out of business and out of the market.”

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said AEG Live has contacted her about their proposal and a spokesperson for Katz said the borough president has “significant concerns” about renting public parkland for paid-admission events, noting that it has never been done in Queens.

“In the absence of official policy on the matter, Borough President Katz is in ongoing discussions with the administration to develop a policy that includes public input, accounts for the adverse and residual impacts on the surrounding neighborhoods, and one that makes sense for Queens and for the city,” said Sharon Lee, spokesperson for Katz.

As of Friday morning, the petition had garnered 3,794 signatures.

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