As part of the Winter X Games 2014, ESPN is requesting to hold two concerts in Wagner Park on the weekend of Jan. 25-26.
Artists for the event have not been announced, but ESPN is planning for an opening act and headliner on each day, with a rock/pop act for Jan. 25 and an electronic dance music act for Jan. 26.
At Tuesday’s work session, the Aspen City Council will review the impacts of the concerts, including street-closure, noise and transportation issues. In its application to the city, ESPN requested that Durant Avenue be closed for four days and that Monarch Street between Durant and Hyman Avenue be closed for eight days. Between setup and dismantling, Wagner Park would house concert equipment from Jan. 20 to Jan. 28.
The Aspen Special Events Committee has stated that those street closures are too long and would cause too much disruption to local businesses and residents. Instead, it is recommended that Durant be closed from 2:30 to 8 p.m. on Jan. 25 and 26. Additionally, ESPN has said it will look into keeping Monarch open for parking and traffic on non-concert days.
ESPN hosted free concerts in Wagner Park during the 2005 and 2006 Winter X Games, but this year, general-admission tickets would be priced at $30 plus fees and taxes. Premium tickets would be priced at $150 plus fees and taxes, and 200 VIP tickets would be handed out to sponsors and special parties. ESPN anticipates 6,000 general-admission ticket sales for each event, plus 200 premium tickets, but the exact number will be decided between the Building and Fire departments.
Aspen’s Environmental Health Department has recommended that noise levels be 100 decibels or less at the property line and that all amplified noise be restricted to between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. The shows would begin at 4 p.m., with sound check prior to that.
The entrance will be constructed along the brick walkway to the north of Wagner Park, much like the Food & Wine Classic. Initially, ESPN had hoped to build an entrance/exit along the Mill Street Mall, but the committee saw that as too much of a disruption, which would limit emergency-vehicle accessibility, as well.
Other issues raised in a memo include control of non-ticket holders outside the venue, the inclusion of a detox center and the requirement for four emergency exits. Crowds would be directed from Rubey Park to Wagner Park using four security guards and the installation of lighting towers. ESPN has contracted an additional 50 security officers for the on-site events. Five or six additional buses will be reallocated for the event to deliver patrons from Buttermilk to Rubey Park. The concert venue would encompass the entire park, with a 6-foot-high chain-link fence surrounding the perimeter and a40-by-40-foot stage placed at the north end.
After the council reviews the application, ESPN will begin reaching out to local residents and businesses about event impacts.