Archive for Saturday, August 5, 2006

Ready for Bleeding Kansas

Neighborhood supportive of concerts at Burcham Park

August 5, 2006


Jessica Cohenour, St. Louis, makes her way down from a tree in Burcham Park after decorating it with flowers in preparation for today's Bleeding Kansas Arts & Music Festival. Vendors, stage crews and others worked throughout the day on Friday preparing the park for the event.

Jessica Cohenour, St. Louis, makes her way down from a tree in Burcham Park after decorating it with flowers in preparation for today's Bleeding Kansas Arts & Music Festival. Vendors, stage crews and others worked throughout the day on Friday preparing the park for the event.

Every once in awhile, Doug Moles is drawn outside by the sounds of loud music coming from Burcham Park.

He lives just a few hundred yards from the park at Second and Indiana streets. A fan of live music, he often goes down to the park to check out the acts.

Moles will hear the music again today, when the Bleeding Kansas Arts & Music Festival makes its debut at the riverside park. Organizers expect 3,500 to 4,000 people to pack Burcham - and cars will pack the neighborhood.

But Moles doesn't mind.

"I think it's a good thing," he said. "People forget the speed limit is 20 through here. But most people don't park illegally or do anything stupid."

Burcham Park has seen an uptick in live music events this year. In addition to today's festival, the park was home to last month's benefit concert Music for the Masses and will host Brewgrass, a bluegrass/beer event, in September. Another benefit concert also is slated there in late September.

And the park always is the site of the Jaycees' Independence Day fireworks show and accompanying activities.

Jacki Becker, who is organizing the Bleeding Kansas festival, has helped promote several shows at Burcham through the years, including the Warped Tour in 1998 and the Tattoo the Earth tour in 2000.

"It's great," she said of the venue. "I had kind of forgotten how beautiful it is. (Wednesday) it was about 105 degrees, but there's a breeze and lots of shade."

Past Event
"Bleeding Kansas" with Death Cab for Cutie

and Broken Social Scene / Keane / Chromeo / Mates of State / Secret Machines / Murder by Death / Boy Kill Boy / Walter Meego / Flosstradamus / and many more

  • When: Saturday, August 5, 2006, 2 p.m. to 2 a.m.
  • Where: Burcham Park, Second and Indiana streets, Lawrence
  • Cost: $37.50
  • More on this event....

City oversight

City officials say they rarely have problems with concerts at Burcham Park.

"I'm not sure how it ended up this way, but that's become the park where everybody wants to do these types of events in," said Tim Laurent, Lawrence Parks and Recreation facility operations supervisor. "We haven't had any problems, but it's something I've worked pretty hard at to make sure we haven't. I really don't want to upset anyone in the neighborhood."

Concert promoters must obtain a special-use permit to host events in city parks, and the cost depends on the type of event being held. Though the final amount hadn't been set, Laurent expects the Bleeding Kansas festival to pay a $400 fee to use the park for the day.

Promoters also must get approval from the city clerk's office and state if they're going to sell alcohol. The city also requires portable toilets and, depending on the size of the event, may require security.

Concerts must be over by 10:30 p.m. because of noise, and Laurent says he always has a conversation with organizers about proper language.

"That's something we cover," he said. "We've got to have that frank conversations with these groups that they can't start dropping the 'f-bomb.'"

Neighborhood concert

Marilyn Roy, who lives about a block from the park, says she can hear the concerts well.

"But I also hear KU reverberating when there's something going on" at Memorial Stadium, she said.

Her main concern about the concerts is trash pick-up and oversight of alcohol consumption. But she says she generally doesn't worry too much about the events.

"If it's something that's drawing people to the park, and they're enjoying it, I think it's a good thing," she said. "I don't see any impact at all that's negative."

Steve Braswell, Pinckney Neighborhood Assn. president, says parking is among his chief concerns, though organizers of some larger events have arranged to park cars at the Veterans of Foreign Wars, 138 Ala.

He gives credit to the Bleeding Kansas organizers for distributing fliers last weekend throughout the surrounding neighborhood alerting residents about the concert.

"I think that's what all the groups ought to do," Braswell said. "It's not like this is at a stadium. There are a bunch of houses around. It's real decent to talk to the neighbors."

Zach Nettleton, Blue Springs, Mo., of National Construction Rentals, works to secure a fence beside one of the concert stages Friday afternoon at Burcham Park.

Zach Nettleton, Blue Springs, Mo., of National Construction Rentals, works to secure a fence beside one of the concert stages Friday afternoon at Burcham Park.

'Pinckney blessing'

Becker, the Bleeding Kansas organizer, says crews will be out tonight to clean up in the park and will canvass the neighborhood Sunday to pick up trash.

She alerted the neighborhood association early on - and even offered them tickets - as a goodwill gesture.

"This is something we want to do every year," Becker said. "Having the Pinckney (neighborhood) blessing is fantastic."

Laurent, the parks official, says the city's parks master plan includes an amphitheater on city-leased land near Clinton Lake. If that is built in the future, city leaders may urge concerts like today's to be held at the amphitheater.

Becker says she would be open to that possibility. But for now, she's enamored with Burcham.

"There's something to be said," she said, "for having trees and seeing the river."

Reader poll
What do you think about all the concert festivals being held in Lawrence this summer

or See the results without voting



cutny 11 years, 8 months ago

Jacki Becker is such an exceptional person. The town definitely needs more people like her.

justsomewench 11 years, 8 months ago

i should apologize to the concert coordinators who yelled at my 13 year old daughter last night. you are right, she was trying to take your neon orange, black and white, 8.5 X 11 keane flyer taped to the metal bars outside the burcham entrance. she wanted to give it to her brother because we cannot afford to spend $37.50 each, which i know is just enough to cover the costs of said flyers.

with all your traffic and hypervigilance at the gate, any chance you want to apologize for ignoring the gal in the wheelchair that had come to look, too, but wasn't able to make it back up to her street? she'd been there quite a long time, you know. was it easy to ignore because she didn't attempt to untape a 4 cent poster while she sat confused and dehydrated at the gate?

by the way, we didn't take the flyer. i shouldn't have told her i thought it would be okay because they're pennies and obviously had been copied for windshield stuffing. sorry.

LJWJohn 11 years, 8 months ago

I really planned on going to the show today. The $37.50 price for a day in the park made it unaffordable for my family. I know cost have to be covered but with the lineup I saw, it is not worth the cover price. It is at least out of our reach!!!

Sigmund 11 years, 8 months ago

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kroniq 11 years, 8 months ago

Rampant commercialism... Its hot out today, and here is a huge problem that I have with events like this, quoted directly from the bleeding kansas website: "one unopened water bottle, and empty camelbacks will be allowed into the concert field." ONE water bottle? EMPTY camelback? So that you can charge me an arm and a leg for water, when tickets are already outrageous. I might not have a problem with paying a few bucks for some water if the tickets were $5 to $10. The park is a public space. Thats ridiculous. Concert promoters need to consider the wellbeing of festivalgoers and encourage, not discourage, the consumption of water at their events. Anyone that is involved in the promotion or organization of an event in Lawrence needs to understand that this is a community that prides itself on social responsibility. Down with profit, up with community. The park belongs to us, not to the city, not to anyone able to pay the city the $400 required to permit an event like this... Excuse me while I purge.

audvisartist 11 years, 8 months ago

A Keane flyer? Even my 2 year old can tell you that "Keane's not rockstar!" And yes, that's a direct quote from a 2 year old.

Sigmund 11 years, 8 months ago

$37.50 and the student loan checks haven't even been cashed yet. $400 for a park for the whole day? Lawrence needs to consider raising their rates.

justsomewench 11 years, 8 months ago

ha! now, now, aud. if that's the worst habit my 15-year old son develops, i'm (read: he is) doing pretty damned good. (i'd never heard of them.) the 13-year old wanted to see deathcab. i, on the other hand, want to see the coordinators care at least as much about the community they hope to entertain as they're paperwaste.

visualize this: within the same eyeshot of my daughter sat a lady in wheelchair in the middle of the street for god knows how long. she had blistered palms from trying to make it back up a slow grade in the road, but had gone down to look at the concert setup. she was so dehydrated and overheated, she was having trouble talking at all. their setup trucks drove by her several times going in and out of the park.

maybe it's because she didn't have $37.50, eh?

Nikki May 11 years, 8 months ago

Ok, I'm sorry that someone had trouble with the incline on the road. That however is the parks and rec department's (the CITY) problem, not the concert. Sure a good person would help, regardless if they were working a gate or not. However, did YOU help her?

And, 37.50 is out of my range for a concert right now, but a big band and 12 hours, that's NOT that much.

justsomewench 11 years, 8 months ago

i pushed her back up the hill. anything else?

Sigmund 11 years, 8 months ago

I see, a woman in a wheel chair is a city problem, and you cant be bothered. More of that special Lawrence community spirit I keep hearing about.

justsomewench 11 years, 8 months ago

apparently so, sigmund. i've been smartly corrected, it seem.

do you think the city would've given the lady a help up the road before or after the road improvements were made?

does this mean i owe the coordinators another apology? i mean, they were probably already all over it, calling parks and rec, the traffic commission, the "t'", and all the other responsible departments.

Nikki May 11 years, 8 months ago

No, that's NOT what I meant. And, I'm sure you know that. What would have happened if no one was there? The city needs to make the parks more accessible to everyone. I also said that a good person would help. Apparently you were a good person. Apparently no one else there was. Did I say I wouldn't be bothered? No. Did I say the city should push her; no.

Oh and I do agree that the cost of the park should be well over $400 for that time of event. But, I maintain that $37.50 was NOT too much for 20+ bands.

justsomewench 11 years, 8 months ago

i don't know why i should assume that's not what you meant. i stand corrected. again.

can't say i had anything to offer about how much it should cost to rent the park, but if $37.50 is a reasonable ticket expense for you, congratulations.

i imagine that clears us up, yes?

Nikki May 11 years, 8 months ago

Because I thought you were not stupid, I figured you had some reading comprehension skills.

It was sigmund that said $400 was not enough to charge for the park.

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