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Author: Subject: Widespread pain? Wharf's booking of jam band ticks off Orange Beach officials

Zen Peach





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  posted on 4/23/2015 at 02:50 AM
It's been five years since perennial jam band Widespread Panic played at The Amphitheater at The Wharf and despite Orange Beach officials' push to keep them away, the band will be back in town next month.

On Monday, Birmingham-based Red Mountain Entertainment announced the band will return to the venue on May 22 for a one-night show at the start of the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

At Tuesday night's council meeting, Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Silvers laid into Wharf General Manager Jim Bibby over the booking. Silvers said the band's fanbase has pushed the city's fire and police services to the limit, calling a past three-day stint "pure mayhem."

Despite an email sent about two weeks ago by Mayor Tony Kennon to Red Mountain and Art Favre, owner of Wharf Retail Properties LLC, expressing the city's concerns about a possible concert, Silvers said "apparently the message didn't get out."

"We're still not happy that this has been announced," Silvers said. "The maximizing that it puts on our resources, our police and our fire department on a busy weekend -- Memorial Day weekend, Jim -- we can't have that. We don't promote that style of living and floppiness that's happened, that they will bring. And they will be here, living in vacant garages, living in the streets, showering down at the beach. Jim, we can't have it. We can't put up with it. So please whoever didn't get that message needs to hear from all of us up here."

The band's first stint at the Amphitheatre was a two-night gig in 2007, which was the 10,200-seat venue's first double sellout. A three-night stint in 2008 turned out to be the busiest for police, with 147 arrests ranging from underage drinking to felony drug possession.

Another three-night stand in 2009 only saw 37 arrests, according to news reports. Widespread Panic's two-night performance in early May 2010 failed to sell out, which was unusual but it was the early and uncertain days of the BP oil spill.

Since that time, Kennon said he was under the impression that the city had an agreement with Wharf officials that acts like Widespread Panic were not welcome in Orange Beach.

"I think people know that I'm a very vocal opponent of the music festival in Gulf Shores," Kennon said. "I don't believe for a minute that it's who we are. It's not our brand. It's not what we're trying to sell as a family-friendly destination. That is who we are and the minute we start prostituting that because of money or whatever reason then the next weekend can be prostituted and the next weekend and then it ends up we're Panama City. And that's not who we are if I can help it."

Kennon said he hoped the booking was "an oversight" by management.

"We'll have a sit down with management and the leadership and hopefully fix this for good," Kennon said. "The Wharf and Orange Beach are a team in a lot of ways but I want to go on the record and I think all of us are unanimous: I don't speak for anybody but that is not who we are and it's not what we want our city to become or represent."

Bibby said he understood the city's concerns and would relay the message. "We will address it," he said. "We will be glad to talk."

http://www.al.com/news/mobile/index.ssf/2015/04/widespread_pain_wharfs_book ing.html

 
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Universal Peach



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  posted on 4/23/2015 at 06:05 AM
Folks like these officials are what give Alabama a bad name. I half-expected to see a quote about rock and roll being the Devil's music.

I was going to point out the Hangout Festival and ask why they don't have a problem with that, but apparently the same officials that don't like Panic playing the Wharf don't like the festival either. Hey, I guess you could say at least they are being consistent in their small-minded views.


 
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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 4/23/2015 at 07:16 AM
quote:
... We don't promote that style of living and floppiness that's happened, that they will bring. And they will be here, living in vacant garages, living in the streets, showering down at the beach. Jim, we can't have it...


This quote could have easily been in the papers 40 or 50 years ago.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/23/2015 at 07:19 AM
Hide the women & children, the hippies are comin'!!!

 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 4/23/2015 at 09:14 AM
Doesn't WSP have a crew that comes in and cleans up after their shows? I think I read that last time they came here to Chattanooga.
 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 4/23/2015 at 10:36 AM
Phish just played there last August. Did they have the same issue with that?

 

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World Class Peach



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  posted on 4/23/2015 at 10:52 AM
Damn Potheads

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 4/23/2015 at 11:02 AM
quote:
Damn Spreadheads


fixed that for you

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/23/2015 at 11:15 AM
Was looking at the venues website earlier and saw Jimmy Buffet was coming to town this weekend. Got a chuckle because they are opening the lots at 10 AM that day. Whats the difference between Parrotheads and Spreadheads?
 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 4/23/2015 at 11:55 AM
The local news was all up in arms at the Warner Theatre last night because of the abundance of Spreadheads hanging outside the theatre huffing nitrous. There were folks walking up and down the streets of DC sucking down gas.

Apparently there is no statute outlawing the use or sale of nitrous so all the cops could do was hang around and watch.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/23/2015 at 12:52 PM
quote:
Was looking at the venues website earlier and saw Jimmy Buffet was coming to town this weekend. Got a chuckle because they are opening the lots at 10 AM that day. Whats the difference between Parrotheads and Spreadheads?


About 25 years.

 

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Peach Master



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  posted on 4/23/2015 at 01:02 PM
quote:
The local news was all up in arms at the Warner Theatre last night because of the abundance of Spreadheads hanging outside the theatre huffing nitrous. There were folks walking up and down the streets of DC sucking down gas. Apparently there is no statute outlawing the use or sale of nitrous so all the cops could do was hang around and watch.


HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!
Don't step on the GAS, Uncle Sam...

not to get into the N2O2 debate... yes, it's fun, esp when on psychedelics, and yes, you can break your head open if you huff too much (it's much more fun to be seated, take the hit, and lay back and get sucked into the swirl of the WAH-WAHs as we used to call 'em - oh yeah mon!!!). i understand many of those tanks are stolen, and there may be some nitrous mob, but... at least the cops had some sort of entertainment!!

as for the thread: WSP didn't perform in Huntsville, BAMALAMA (as well as Starkville, MS) for several years back in the old daze for the same reasons Orange Beach is giving, but have been welcomed back to Huntsville with open arms several years ago. A one day event is not going to be the sea of debauchery that a 3day run would be. Umm, and Orange Beach, this is America, and can you really tell the venue they CAN'T book certain BANDS??? yes, you can harass their fanbase out the wazoo, but PREVENT them from booking?!?!?! what is this, Russia?

ps- was glad to read in the Wannee thread that someone mentioned WSP nite 2 was really intense ;-) Bring it!

 
 


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