Not everyone smiling in wake of hugely successful CityFolk
Aedan Helmer, Ottawa Sun
It appears CityFolk still has some hurdles to clear if organizers want to return to Lansdowne Park.
While executive director Mark Monahan called it “the perfect spot” for his five-day festival — which attracted an estimated 70,000 fans to the heart of the Glebe — Capital Coun. David Chernushenko says “the jury is still out.”
Chernushenko butted heads with organizers last year when Glebe residents lodged dozens of daily noise complaints after sound from the main stages wafted into the neighbourhood from the old site at Hog’s Back Park.
Before moving to Lansdowne this year, Chernushenko said organizers “originally presented me with a plan that had all outdoor events end at 9 p.m. This morphed into ‘by about 10 p.m.’ I decided to let that go, as long as the noise bylaw was being respected.”
CityFolk organizers turned down the volume and pulled the plug at 10 p.m. sharp, and according to Bylaw and Protection Services, the city fielded only 15 noise complaints — coming from nine Glebe residents — over the five days.
“Some complaints came in well after 10 p.m. (even 11 p.m.), but it is likely this was sound and bass coming from indoor venues,” said Chernushenko.
The festival also showcased local musicians in about a dozen shops along Bank St.
“Bass from indoor venues continues to be a challenge (and a) problem from this and other events across the city,” said Chernushenko. “In defence of my constituents, bass that keeps you from sleeping is just as disturbing as outdoor sound, often more so.”
Chernushenko said transportation to and from the grounds “was not very well executed,” and said supplementary OC Transpo service — with event organizers picking up the tab — is “critical to avoiding parking and congestion problems.”
Bylaw chief Roger Chapman said the number of parking tickets issued during CityFolk were “marginally above average” on Friday and Sunday, and within the normal average on other days.
But there are many in the Glebe who were quite happy with the increased traffic.
Andrew Peck of the Glebe Business Improvement Area said local businesses were “over the moon” with the success of the festival.
“It’s a seed that we hope will just grow and develop over time,” said Peck, who said he was surprised to hear the councillor’s comments.
“Like anything, there’s no such thing as perfect,” he said. “So you tweak.”
The city’s special events advisory team is due to discuss CityFolk and its future at Lansdowne in mid-October.