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Bulletin Board April 03 2002

DOWNTOWN ROCKS — NOT. The downtown Neighborhood Planning Unit voted unanimously last week to recommend that the city deny a permit to 99X and Clear Channel for their Downtown Rocks free summer concert series, which was to be held Friday nights starting in June. The decision was based mainly on the fact that On The Bricks, another free summer concert series taking place across the street (in Centennial Park), is already scheduled for Fridays. A partner in organizing On The Bricks last year, 99X split from the series after disagreements with promoter Mad Booking. (Mad Booking, of course, praised the planning unit's ruling.)

"This is not just some place in space; this is our neighborhood," planning unit Chairman David Patton says. In his report to the city, Patton wrote, "We are not interested in creating a Music Midtown atmosphere every Friday evening."

While the planning unit indicated that it would've recommended approval of the permit if Downtown Rocks organizers moved the event to Thursday or Saturday nights, 99X program director Chris Williams says another night is "not an option," and indicated Downtown Rocks might pursue another location if the current site is ultimately unavailable. "We spent millions of dollars in marketing, educating our listeners to a Friday night concert series."

For now, Downtown Rocks organizers plan to re-petition the planning unit, offering solutions to the concerns it raised. And while they could still apply to the city for a permit, without the endorsement of the planning unit, approval is very unlikely. "I can't imagine that because they don't get Friday night they're going to pout and storm off," Patton says.