First of all, thank you so much to everyone who came out to Rockfest this year even though the weather didn't quite want to cooperate (although I think you actually enjoyed that more!!!) A HUGE thanks as always to the folks at Liberty Memorial for opening their grounds and allowing us to have the show there. If you have never been to the museum at the base of the memorial, make it a point to go check it out...it is spectacular!!!
I'm sure you've heard the flack that Park and Recreation Commissioner Aggie Stackhaus has said about the conditions of the grounds following the event but, as promised, here is the statement released by Mayor Funkhouser:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 18, 2010
Statement from Mayor Funkhouser: Rockfest Should Rock On
Parks are for people, and on a rainy Saturday, Penn Valley Park was used by 55,000 Kansas City area residents and out-of-town visitors.
I think we should celebrate that kind of success, not condemn it. Keeping people out of our parks makes no sense to me.
My office has received a substantial number of calls and emails regarding Parks and Recreation Commissioner Aggie Stackhaus’ comments about last weekend’s Rockfest event. Most of the residents who have contacted us are disappointed in Commissioner Stackhaus’ comments about the participant’s manners, and her statement that the event should not return to Penn Valley Park.
Rockfest is a Kansas City spring institution. Like The Brookside Art Fair and the Zona Rosa Easter Parade, it is something that a significant segment of our residents look forward to every year. Community events give us a sense of place. They give us a reason to call Kansas City home.
I fully support Rockfest as one of those events. I support the young men and women who see Rockfest as an anchor for their community. Kansas City needs more fun and entertaining events.
Crowded parks, mixed with an all-day rain, are bound to cause serious landscaping issues no matter what the event. Those issues went even further due to the exuberance of the crowd. But outside of having some fun in the mud, the crowd is reported to have been very peaceful.
The bottom line is that grass will grow again. But residents driven away by overzealous comments may not return.
It is my understanding that AEG-Live has the responsibility to fix the issues caused last weekend, and that they already are moving in that direction and plan to have new seed or sod down soon. I will make sure that the city holds them to that commitment.
I, for one, hope that Rockfest continues to grace the Liberty Memorial and Penn Valley Park for years to come. And to show my support, I have joined the Facebook Petition to Keep Rockfest at Liberty Memorial.