Post-concert problems trouble Snowmass | AspenTimes.com

Post-concert problems trouble Snowmass

Ann Larson and Madeleine Osberger
Snowmass correspondents

It’s the post-concert partying, and not the Thursday night shows on Fanny Hill themselves, that have gotten out of hand, say some concertgoers, law enforcement officials and town staffers, in the wake of two violent post-concert incidents in a two-week period.

Those incidents have prompted organizers to take a hard look at the concert scene and have discussed consumption, and over-consumption, on Fanny Hill. While the town isn’t ready to prohibit concertgoers from bringing in their own beverages, that could be an option if post-show problems persist.

The recent felony assault – on July 27, 29-year-old local David Mall was assaulted at the Mall transit center following the conclusion of a Thursday night concert -was an eye-opener for all.

“It’s a significant thing” that hasn’t occurred in the town in more than two years, Police Chief Art Smythe said. Carbondale resident Ochoa Justino Iglesias, 31, was issued a citation from local police.

That came on the heels of an assault on a RFTA driver the previous Thursday.

Said Smythe: “It is true that problems that occur on Thursday night usually happen later in the evening, after the concerts.” And he noted the improvements to the concert scene that the town has tried to implement in the years since the shows first began, including security fencing and a restriction on dogs.

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Enacting a ban on brought-in booze might serve to punish those who party responsibly.

“A picnic basket and bottle of wine have become a part of the event, something that people feel really adds to the overall ambiance of the event. That activity has not led to significant problems,” said Smythe.

According to Snowmass Village spokeswoman Kathleen Wanatowicz, “Picnics and beverages are expected (at the shows) – mass consumption is not. Bringing quality music to Snowmass Village is one of our key marketing strategies, although to many Thursday nights concerts are seen as a community event. It’s the one night everyone lets go of politics and is reminded of what a great town we live in. Public safety is our first concern and any unusual behavior should always be reported immediately to the police.”

Smythe said that at the end of summer, entities including the police and marketing board will be asked to weigh in on the concert season as a whole.