Denver gauges public reaction to potential mega music festival

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DENVER -- Neighbors in south Denver are sounding off over an effort to bring a large-scale music festival to a historic 18-hole golf course.

The proposed music event is expected to draw tens of thousands of people daily to Overland Park Golf Course near South Broadway and West Florida Avenue.

During a city-hosted event Tuesday, people squeezed into the golf course's clubhouse to learn more from city leaders and event promoter AEG.

"I'll be there [for the concert]," said Washington Park resident Nico Earhart. "I live about a mile away."

Earhart is one of many who can't wait for the excitement of the multiday event, while others are dreading what they call a potential nightmare.

"There will be a lot of trash," neighbor Joanne Weiss predicts. "There will be crime -- the potential for a lot of trouble."

But the the city's representatives said plans for the big event will include strict safety measures. Concert proponents said money for the city is also an attractive incentive for Denver.

"There absolutely would be an economic impact to the community," said Grace Lopez Ramirez of Denver's Office of Special Events.

Exactly how much money the city will make from event organizers in the form of permit fees is not known.

The festival, proposed for September 2018, would require the course to be closed for roughly six weeks to allow staging, fence setup and deconstruction, according to Denver Parks and Recreation officials.

Critics said a main concern is that concertgoers might damage the golf course's well-manicured turf.

"I don't think it'll cause a bunch of damage to the course like some people might think," Earhart said.

But others disagree. There is no shortage of opinion.

City officials said next steps include more informational meetings with event organizers. The meetings help Denver gauge community reaction to guide decision making, according to Lopez Ramirez.

If the effort to bring a music festival continues to move forward, the Denver City Council would need to approve a contract between Denver and event organizers.

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