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SFX Entertainment : Fairplex, neighbors prepare for HARD Summer Music Festival

08/01/2015 | 09:20am US/Eastern

Aug. 01--POMONA -- Thousands of electronic music fans will gather at Fairplex Saturday for the first day of the two-day HARD Summer Music Festival.

Countless hours have been spent working on plans to ensure the festival goes smoothly and that the concerns of residents around Fairplex are addressed.

"We'll approach (the festival) as if it were a fair day," said Dale Coleman, vice president of business growth and development and chief revenue officer for Fairplex, referring to the L.A. County Fair.

On a typical fair day, about 150,000 people come through Fairplex's gates.

Each day of the music festival is expected to bring in about 65,000 fans, Coleman said. Some residents of neighborhoods surrounding Fairplex have expressed concerns about having the festival at Fairplex.

Among them is Judith St. John, a resident of the Mountain Meadows neighborhood, located just south of Fairplex.

In November, Fairplex was the site of the HARD Day of the Dead outdoor music festival, which drew thousands. The event resulted in traffic, neighborhood parking problems and complaints of unbearable noise levels.

She worries this weekend's festival will be a repeat of November, when the outdoor festival resulted in painfully loud sound. Leaving home this weekend crossed St. John's mind.

"It's tempting to go away. But why should I leave my home?" she said.

St. John and other neighbors will be watching carefully at what takes place this weekend.

Coleman said this weekend's event will not be like November's.

The problem last fall was created "by one rogue performer who turned the (sound) system up," Coleman said.

Fairplex hired TechMD Inc., a company that handles sound mitigation for the Rose Bowl, to play a part in developing a plan to control sound at the event.

The company has worked with Live Nation before, Coleman said.

"We'll make sure we keep the sound in the audience area and keep it from spilling out," said Dave Revel, president of Tech MD.

A multi-prong sound mitigation plan calls for collecting readings from seven sound meters set up in the Ganesha Hills and Mountain Meadows neighborhoods to the south, the Yorba neighborhood to the east and downtown La Verne to the north, Coleman said.

The readings will be monitored constantly to determine if limits set for the event are exceeded.

The plan also calls for deploying teams who will be circulating taking readings at different points in the neighborhoods that will also be able to respond to calls from neighbors reporting excessive noise.

All of the information on sound levels will be monitored inside Fairplex where a screen showed sound readings that were already being recorded Friday afternoon.

To address parking concerns, signs have been posted in the surrounding neighborhoods advising motorists that parking in those areas is limited to those who have permits, said Pomona police Capt. Mike Ellis.

Every one of Fairplex's parking lots will be available and the lot at Gate 9 on the east side of White Avenue will have a drop-off and pickup zone for those coming by way of Uber, taxi cabs or family members.

The drop-off zone is expected to keep pedestrians off streets, Ellis said.

Having all parking lots available also ensures festival-goers will be able to take different routes to freeways.

Fairplex "has opened all lots, so that should move traffic along," Ellis said.

But he also said people should keep in mind that moving 65,000 people at the end of each day will take time.

Live Nation, the event promotor, will have security personnel posted in various neighborhoods to make sure those attending aren't going into the surrounding neighborhoods. Pomona police will have officers in the area to address quality-of-life issues. They will be assisted by the Claremont, La Verne and Ontario police departments at the festival.

The state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control will also be present.

"They'll focus on making sure minors are not consuming alcohol," Ellis said.

Before entering Fairplex attendees will go through screening areas.

"Each screening area will be manned by literally dozens of police officers," Ellis said.

Overall, the plans in place will help have an event that ends on a positive note, he said.

"We're very happy with the plans we have in place," Ellis said, adding "This is going to be a safe event."

Sashya Sharone Amee, a resident of the Yorba neighborhood, said she was very much opposed to the festival at first based, on the November event.

She collected signatures on a petition this summer calling on city officials to deny Fairplex and Live Nation a request to extend the use of outdoor public address systems from the 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. limit on the first day of the festival by an hour, allowing the systems to be used until 11 p.m.

Amee submitted the signatures to the city but she was able to meet with Fairplex officials and was satisfied with the plans developed for this weekend's festival.

Fairplex officials "have demonstrated they've heard our voices," she said.

___

(c)2015 the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (Ontario, Calif.)

Visit the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (Ontario, Calif.) at www.dailybulletin.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

© Tribune Content Agency, source Regional News

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