Music festival headed to South Fulton

Mon, 04/09/2007 - 8:33am
By: Ben Nelms

The idea of having an annual music festival along the banks of the Chattahoochee River in south Fulton County was music to the ears of Fulton County Board of Commissioners. The project received a 7-0 vote at the April 3 commission meeting.

Rivertown Entertainment, LLC was given the go ahead to put on the show, to be held annually for five consecutive days, usually in October. The festival will be held on a largely undeveloped 2,047-acre site located between Campbellton-Fairburn Road, Cochran Mill Road, Cedar Grove Road, Browns Lake Road and the Chattahoochee River. To be held on 330 acres of the property, including a three-mile stretch of the Chattahoochee, the self-contained festival is expected to attract 35,000-45,000 people, project representative Woody Galloway said at a March 21 meeting of the county’s Community Zoning Board. The majority of those attending will stay at the on-site campground for the duration of the festival, with approximately 5,000 of the tickets available for walk-ins, Galloway said.

The April 3 approval by commissioners came with a number of conditions. Among those was a 10-year permit with an annual review by a committee composed of Fulton County Commissioner Bill Edwards, a representative of Douglas County Commission, Fulton County staff and citizens. Commenting Thursday on the approval, Edwards said festival music will be required to end at 2 a.m., though that ending time may be extended based on a favorable evaluation after the first year. Other conditions, said Edwards, included the installation of fencing along the Chattahoochee River, sound monitoring to maintain levels between 60-75 decibels and the provision that no open fires will be allowed.

Still other conditions mandated the presence of 200 security personnel, including 20 mounted officers, Fulton and Douglasville Police at highway intersections, on-site medical facilities, 911 capability, and trash pick-up by festival organizers in and around the site and along nearby roads.

Edwards said there was no public opposition to the project at the meeting, though one Douglas County commissioner did attend, expressing concerns but voicing no opposition to the festival.

Organizers March 21 said the annual festival would be professionally managed, with self-contained facilities including food concessions, 1,400-2,000 portable toilets, showers, temporary fence screening in designated areas and 200-250 security personnel and 20 mounted officers.

Plans call for the temporary stage to back up against the Chattahoochee River and a large buffer area of steeply graded wooded areas between the festival venue area and south Fulton neighbors, Galloway said.

Galloway maintained that property owner Carl Bouckaert was sensitive to neighbors’ concerns, adding that concerns such as safety and security management, noise and appropriate trash disposal were also in his best interest.

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