Wednesday, November 21, 2012

City’s stance on Sawtooth Music Festival


    The Sawtooth Music Festival has announced that it does not plan to return in 2013. This was the festival organizers’ decision. The mayor and City Council did not ask them to leave, and would like to see the festival return for another season. In fact, the city presented the organizers with a proposed contract for 2013 and has repeatedly stated its desire to resolve any issues that would prevent the festival from continuing.
    The Sawtooth Music Festival has been an asset to the Stanley community not just because it brings in business, but because many people in the area look forward to experiencing good music and fun in a spectacular mountain setting. Even though the festival is a for-profit business, the city has provided financial support for several years in recognition of the financial benefits that the festival brings. The city has publicly recognized the generous financial support that the festival has provided each year to community organizations.
    As the event has continued to grow in popularity and numbers each year, the city and the festival have faced a growing array of problems associated with security, carrying capacity of Pioneer Park, law enforcement and traffic control. In addition, there are issues with park rental fees and collection of local option taxes as mandated by city ordinances. The city continues to believe that all these issues could be resolved to mutual benefit, and has met with festival organizers to negotiate a solution. Based on that meeting, and at the suggestion of both parties, the city prepared a proposed large-events contract with similar provisions to those used by nearby communities. This contract is intended to establish requirements for the use of city property and protection of private property, but does not cover or resolve issues with festival use of the adjoining Challis School District property. Unfortunately, the festival organizers decided that they did not wish to continue these discussions.
    The city sincerely regrets this decision, and would still like to see the festival return under appropriate circumstances and continue to provide a popular midsummer tradition in Stanley. Let them know of your ideas on how to make the event sustainable. Encourage them to work with the city to resolve issues and find a way to continue. You may contact them at or Sawtooth Music Festival, 2501 Madison, Boise, ID 83702.

This guest opinion was submitted by the mayor and City Council of Stanley.

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