On Monday night, the Denver music scene stepped it up a notch after city council voted 10-3 to approve a major music festival.
The festival, which has yet to be named, will take place on the Overland Park Golf Course in South Denver sometime in the five weeks after Labor Day starting next year.
Superfly Productions, which already puts on festivals like Bonnaroo in Tennessee and Outside Lands in San Francisco, plans to take over the course near Santa Fe and Evans Avenue for a three-day concert on the second or third Friday, Saturday, Sunday of September from 2018 through 2022.
“The community will absolutely be better off [because of this festival,” said District 7 councilman Jolon Clark, who represents the Overland neighborhood. “The devil is in the details of these plans and that's what I like about this contract. It doesn't just say ‘Ok, now go do it.’ It says that now you have to prove that every step of the wayyou understand the concerns, that you're mitigating the concerns, that you're rebuilding this community, [and] that you're engaging this community.”
When Superfly first submitted their proposal nearly a year ago Denver felt like it was getting shortchanged, but the city negotiated. It’s expected to make $2.6 million off this contract with nearly a million of that going to the Overland and Ruby Hill neighborhoods alone.
Time to break out the fur boots and bro tank tops- on a 10-3 vote a major music festival is coming to Denver #9news— Dan Grossman (@Dan_Grossman) August 1, 2017
Councilman Espinoza, one of the festival's tougher critics: "Superfly has made concessions to those in community, & I will support." #9news— Dan Grossman (@Dan_Grossman) August 1, 2017
Superfly will pay $200,000 to rent the golf course for the five weeks following Labor Day.
That time includes set up, the three-day festival, and breakdown. They’ll also pay $90,000 for landscaping work. $25,000 will be paid to fund discounts for displaced golfers who wish to play at other city courses and $2 from every ticket sold will go to Denver's Golf Enterprise Fund, which benefits all golf courses in the city.
This is the first time Denver has ever approved an event to take place on one of its golf courses.
With the festival expected to bring in anywhere from 30,000 to 80,000 people a day, that precedent was one of the reasons three council members voted no.
Others, however, said the outs Denver put in the contract reassured them to take the chance to host this.
“Superfly has been diligent and has made concessions to the community,” councilman Rafeal Espinoza said during the meeting. “It’s the reason I’ll be voting yes tonight.”
Espinoza has been one of the most skeptical council members through the seven-month meeting process to approve the festival. He has continuously voiced concerns about noise and traffic saying he’ll believe the solutions when he sees it.
He, and other council members, were reassured enough by the city’s ‘outs’ to vote in favor of the festival Monday night.
According to the contract there will be strict provisions the festival must meet after its first year. These include noise monitoring, trash clean up, and golf course restoration.
During the meeting process Denver city council looked toward the Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco as a comparison to what this festival could bring.