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City officials met with Airport Commission to go over plans for the Saturday concert.

North Adams Airport Commission OKs Concert Event

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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Mike Wood explains his plans for a 12-hour concert to be held at Harriman-West this Saturday to the Airport Commission.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — It took two last-minute meetings to bring Hangar Hangout 2014 in for a landing on Thursday, but not without local law enforcement clipping the 12-hour concert's wings.

This Saturday's event at Harriman-West Airport was originally scheduled to run until 11:30 p.m. with an encore. However, there were concerns over the level of volume from the nearly dozen bands and how it would affect the surrounding neighborhood.

Chief of Police Michael Cozzaglio told the Airport Commission on Thursday afternoon that he did not feel comfortable with the time and wanted everything wrapped up by 11 p.m.

"Eleven o' clock, music is done and alcohol is done, so tailor your bands and services accordingly; everything is done and cleared out by 12," Cozzaglio said. "We are seeing a potential issue with the neighborhood and we want to be mindful of that because it reflects poorly on us and the city."

Event coordinator Mike Wood said he was under the impression that it was OK for the concert to go to 11:30 and wished he had known there would be changes sooner.

"We knew what time we wanted to end for a while now, and it seems really easy to just take an hour out, but you have to understand that people have jobs that are playing in these bands and they have to leave an hour sooner now," Wood said. "I feel like cutting a whole hour out is going to be tough, but if that is what we have to do that is what we have to."

Cozzaglio said he told Wood a while ago he thought that 11:30 was too late.

"At the end of the day, if there is a problem it is going to be our problem, and we want to avoid that," he said.

Mayor Richard Alcombright said he supports the event, but wants to make sure it is done right so there is the possibility of having it again in the future.

"We support event and we thank you for wanting to have events in the city," the mayor said. "I don't think this is anything that is going to be onerous, and I think we can make this happen. My biggest concern is how this will affect the neighborhood."

Wood said he does not foresee a problem because he is using a professional system.

"The sound booth is going to be 30 feet out, and they will be able to hear how loud it is going to be." he said. "After that 30 feet, sound dissipates ... and we will have people walking around checking on the sound."

Airport Manager Bill Greenwald asked if the event could be shut down if there are too many noise complaints.

Cozzaglio said the concert will be treated like a band in a bar.

"I hope we receive no complaints, but if we receive a complaint we will give you fair warning that you have to turn down," he said. "Second time you will turn it down or you turn it off."

Both the Airport Commission and License Commission met on Thursday to approve elements of the event after failing to receive enough information at their meetings last week. Jonathan Spinney was approved for a one-day beer and wine license on Saturday from 11 to midnight for the concern at the License Commission's noon meeting. The concert was also the only item on the Airport Commission's 4:30 p.m. meeting.

It will feature local and Boston area bands, art and vendors; children under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door and may be purchased at Wild Oats in Williamstown and Eagle Street Music on Main and Head Eaze in North Adams.

The airport will be operating during the concert so barriers will be put up to keep people off the runway.

Greenwald expects some traffic, but believes the layout of the concert will be safe.

"The crowd will be well displaced from the taxi way and the entry area," he said. "We really have to be careful about wanderers because it's dangerous and we will focus on that."

Tags: airport,   airport commission,   concerts,   music,   

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