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City rejects the use of Flushing Meadow-Corona Park for music festivals in 2017

Dec. 21, 2016 By Christian Murray

The Parks Department has rejected the applications put forward by three companies that sought to hold for-profit, multiple-day music festivals in Flushing Meadows Corona Park next summer.

The proposals, put forward by AEG, Founders Entertainment and the Madison Square Garden Company, all promised to bring well-known performers and local food vendors to the park.

Meghan Lalor, a spokeswoman for the Parks Dept., did not provide a reason as to why the proposals were rejected.

This is the second year in a row that these three companies have applied for permits and have been denied.

The applications have been controversial, with Queens Borough President Melinda Katz being outspoken in her opposition to them being granted.

Katz

She expressed concern that residents would be denied access to public parks in order for them to be used by promoters to hold pricey events.

Katz also said that the Parks Department’s current policy toward holding large-scale paid events in city parks is “arbitrary and unfair” and there is not a selection criteria used.

“Without a fair policy in place, I remain opposed to any applications from for-profit organizations to run paid-admission events in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park,” Katz said recently.

“The absence of a revised policy, including a set selection criteria and process approved by the community, renders the process arbitrary and unfair.”

But the Parks Dept stands behind its existing policy.

“The Parks Dept. is confident that our existing rules strike the right balance between accommodating exciting special events in our parks and preserving park spaces for all New Yorkers to relax, explore and play,” Lalor, a spokeswoman for the agency, wrote in an email.

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