Town to clear over $100k from music fest

dollar budgetWho said there’s no money in music these days?

The town stands to receive $100,000 to $125,000 as a result of next month’s Hudson Project music festival, money Supervisor Greg Helsmoortel has said will go to pay down the town’s deficit.

The deficit stood at approximately $300,000 following last fall’s budget process.

The town will receive $5 for each ticket. The promoter, MCP Presents, expects 20,000 to 25,000 people. Above and beyond that, police and other emergency expenses will be reimbursed.


At its June 18 meeting, the Town Board granted final permits and approvals for the Hudson Project Music and Arts Festival to be held at Winston Farm, the site of the Woodstock ’94 concert. Kendrick Lamar, Modest Mouse, Bassnectar and The Flaming Lips will headline the July 11-13 event. General admission for all three days starts at $185. Camping is available for an extra fee. Single-day tickets are $95.

The main requirement the town had still not issued was the mass gathering permit, necessary for any gathering of 200 or more people. The town declared there would be no environmental impact given the relatively short duration of the concert.

As required by town law, concert organizers have already secured a mass gathering permit from Ulster County and the go-ahead from the county Department of Health, according to town attorney John Greco.

A contract between the town and festival organizers lays out how the festival is conducted and sets forth obligations.

“There are detailed traffic plans everyone has seen, security plans, medical details, parking, water and sanitary facilities,” Greco said. “Those have all been reviewed by the county health department.”

MCP Presents president Jonathan Fordin made a presentation to the Woodstock Town Board in May explaining the traffic plans. He said the bulk of traffic impact should be minimized since most concertgoers will arrive at night on July 10 and stay for the duration of the festival.

The festival has placed $45,000 in escrow for costs associated with the town’s review of logistics.

Another $80,000 in escrow covers the police and other town expenses leading up to and during the festival. The police department estimates their cost at $40,000, while the remaining $40,000 covers the fire, building and recreation departments and Diaz Ambulance.

While State Police and the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office will take the lead on enforcement and traffic details during the festival, the town police will work longer shifts to handle people arriving and leaving, Chief Joe Sinagra said.

“We’ll have 12-hour shifts for four days to handle the load-in and load-out,” he said. Then the department will split into two sections. One part will assist with operations at the concert while the other will be devoted to the village and town.

“I don’t anticipate any major problems,” Sinagra said. “It will be no different than the Garlic Festival.”

By using 12-hour shifts and part-time officers, the department does not have to hire temporary officers, Sinagra said.

The festival will also pay a $500,000 cash security bond to ensure it fulfills all of its requirements and will be used in case the town needs to intercede during the event, Greco said.

Another board resolution allows Hudson Project LLC to use the Kiwanis Ice Rink box office for ticket sales and to provide parking at Cantine Field and Saugerties High School. A shuttle bus will take people from the parking areas to Winston Farm.

The town also approved the closing of Augusta Savage Rd. so it can be used by festival staff. Area business owners and residents will be able to use the road.