The Pool Parties may go belly up.
According to promoters Jelly NYC, the popular summer concert series may be in danger of moving from East River State Park in 2010 if a new agreement between the New York State Parks and the concerts’ sponsors cannot be reached.
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) has been leading negotiations with state parks officials and concert planners Jelly and the Open Space Alliance, to find a way to keep the concerts at East River State Park in Williamsburg (North 8th Street and Kent Avenue) for at least another year.
“When I heard that the concerts might be cancelled, I couldn’t understand why given that this is exactly what our parks are supposed to be for and I am going to do everything I can to see that they continue,” said Schumer.
Jelly founder Alexander Kane said that he was “thrilled beyond belief” that Senator Schumer was advocating for the concert series, which he has planned over the past four years.
“We’re keeping our fingers crossed and doing everything we can to keep the free concert series in our neighborhood,” said Kane. “My business partner, Sarah Hooper, and I couldn’t be more thankful for the senator’s efforts on our behalf.”
State Parks officials say that such concern may be overblown and that all parties are working to negotiate a new permitting arrangement for 2010.
“We like having concerts in this park, and everyone is talking with everyone,” said Rachel Gordon, New York City Regional Director for State Parks.“There will be concerts at East River State Park next summer.”
State Parks granted permits to the Open Space Alliance (OSA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to maintaining and improving parks in North Brooklyn, for several music events at the waterfront park in 2009, and enjoyed a largely smooth working relationship.
“We received a donation from OSA this year and we’re delighted to get it at a time of fiscal crisis,” said Gordon.
OSA did not return calls for comment by press time.
This past year was the first year that East River State Park hosted the series, which had previously been held for the past three years at McCarren Park Pool.
According to a city parks representative, the long-term goal of the concert planners is to find a permanent space for the concert series, possibly at Bushwick Inlet Park. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and city leaders broke ground on that site just north of East River State Park in July, though it is several years away from completion.
In the meantime, state and city officials are working to keep East River State Park a viable option.
“We’re working to make sure that there are concerts every year that everyone can enjoy and are respectful of the community,” said Amy Cleary, a spokesperson for Assemblymember Joseph Lentol (D-Williamsburg).“Nothing is final and eventually yes, they will be moved out of the state park.”
©2009 Community News Group
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