The organizers of the Fort Reno Summer Concert Series in upper Northwest DC have cancelled the series for 2014.
In a note on the website for the concert series (http://www.fortreno.com), organizer Amanda Mackaye laments the cancellation, which is due to an unexpected announcement from the National Park Service (NPS) that the organizers pay for an officer from the US Park Police (USPP) onsite at each concert in Fort Reno Park. This never had been a requirement previously, Mackaye said, and the humble little concert series cannot afford the cost of the officer required.
“So as it stands today, not only does the concert series not have the funds to cover this cost at the last minute but we don’t feel we should have to do this without just cause. Our feeling is that if something had changed within the operations at NPS or USPP regarding public events since last summer, there was ample time to inform us. NPS has all of my contact information. And this is not a little cost as USPP seems to think. It will literally double the VERY small budget of the concert series. It will affect how many shows can happen because the money must be paid up front. I didn’t even bother to get into what happens if we are dark due to rain…,” Mackaye wrote.
“That all said, with the heaviest of hearts the decision is that the concert series will be dark for 2014 in an effort to resolve this for the future. I hope it goes without saying that this is not the outcome we expected and certainly don’t want,” she added.
Sounds like blind, needless bureaucracy to us! We hope Mackaye can resolve these challenges, although as you can see in her letter, no one has stepped up to meet with her on the issue.