Concert promoters run afoul of Council member over Citi Field show

By Bill Parry

The promoters of an October music festival at the Citi Field parking lot featuring hip-hopper artist Kanye West is drawing the wrath of City Councilwoman Julissa Fererras-Copeland (D-East Elmhurst) for misrepresenting themselves.

Live Nation and Founders Entertainment are presenting the Meadows Festival Oct. 1-2 and they claimed to be partners with, and have the support of, the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Alliance.

But they did not.

“I believe in bringing cultural events that can spur economic growth to benefit our community,” Fererras-Copeland said. “I met with Founders Entertainment to hear their proposals and tell them they must engage more stakeholders to build support for the festival. I was troubled to see them then claim the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Alliance as a partner when the alliance is not a partner and was never consulted about this event.”

Dan Wempa, New York Hall of Science vice president, is blasting the promoters for scheduling the Meadow Festival on the same weekend as World Maker Faire, which uses the Citi Field lots for overflow parking. The promoters have not filed a traffic plan and have no police approval.

“It is astounding that Live Nation and Founders Entertainment are proceeding with their plans for a concert festival on the same weekend as World Makers Faire, a long-established annual event in Flushing Meadows Corona Park that draws upwards of 100,000 visitors,” Wemba said. “Worse, they are proceeding with a complete lack of transparency or community engagement about how they intend to assure that their event doesn’t negatively impact the park.

He added, “By bringing another 30,000 to 50,000 people per day into the neighborhood, this poorly planned mega-concert will undermine what we have done over the past seven years to address community concerns about traffic, safety, and parking. It also threatens to undo a lot of cooperation and engagement that has contributed to the success of the World Maker Faire.”

Neither promoter could be reached for comment.

“There are serious concerns about the impact of a music festival on our community, including how this would impact Maker Faire, an existing and popular event in the same park on the same days,” Ferreras-Copeland said. “Founders must engage around issues like traffic, safety and economic impact before it earns our community’s support.”

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.