A Mainstreet Radio special broadcast from Detroit Lakes. Program highlights outdoor music festival WE Fest, the largest camping and country music extravaganza. Rachel Reabe interviews Jeff Creeger, WE Fest organizer, and Rand Levy, of Rose Productions. The history, phenomenon, efforts and challenges of running an outdoor festival are discussed.
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NPR's Main Street radio coverage of Royal issues is supported by the blandin foundation committed to strengthening communities through grant-making leadership training and convening. We invite you to visit the Main Street website go to www.mpr.org where you can hear today's program at your convenience as well as other Main Street reports the address again www.npr.org.She's been playing in room on the Strip for 10 years in Vegas. Good morning. I'm Rachel reabe and we're opening the special Main Street radio show with music from Alan Jackson, one of the country music stars performing at this year's. We Fest outside of Detroit Lakes. And that's where we are this morning broadcasting live from the country's largest camping and Country Music Extravaganza who got a great view of the stage in the crowd where music started just minutes ago in the next 3 days fans will be treated to back-to-back performances by Jackson Vince Gill Clint Black Patty Loveless, Mary Chapin Carpenter Ronnie Milsap and others 40,000 people are expected for this 16th. Annual. We Fest will talk this morning about the history of we Fest and the phenomenon of outdoor music festivals, Los. Oh look at what it takes to run a small temporary City. Our phone lines are open for your questions and comments today. You can call us at one 800-537-5252 I guess this morning we Fest organizer Jeff Krieger and ran Levi of Rose Productions. Good morning. Gentlemen the station I wonder who is that what that wonderful voice at such a great job. Hey, it's a pleasure to be here. I'm just glad you're here. And so wonderful this we Fest weather is this good as it gets so beautiful beautiful day 85 and not a cloud in the sky and it's just the humidity is kind of nice breeze and one of our eight days of summer. Yes lineup is for today Jeff right now we have what is called The Horizon artist on the horizon the next group that I'll be up. Here is Wheels, but right now it's a Hank Brothers Band Regional. What we do is in October Regional bands from all over the The five-state Eric send us tapes. We have a committee then in February goes through all those tapes and we pick up 10 of the best what we call on the horizon groups and out of that 10 6-minute on our stage this year. The Hank Brothers is on now and then wheels will be next and then there's groups for the rest of the week. 30 this morning when the strains of the William Tell Overture were blasted through out here at the gates opened up and that was that was quite a show something that the witches are trademark up what happens is people exciting Overture and what happens is people line up in the morning at 6 in the morning to get in to get the best seats and the end they been doing this. This is really that's R6 those people been here for 16 years outside are die-hard fans who you know, they're the ones who get to sleep early. So then get up early to sit in front of gates. Don't feel 2820 acre Amphitheatre the big delayed 2 hours to pick Jumbotron screens every seat in the house is a front row seat, but people line up, Good morning. We open the gates at 9:30. We do a countdown week. We play the William Tell Overture and they run in they dashia now. We have a security crew that you know, send them in a group. So so so it's safe. Although still that was not for the older the faint-hearted. There's a few favors that running though. They were they were coming in at a good clip absolutely loves their arms long-term off their knees. It's a good like golf Masters tournament. Once your chair is down. It's the sacred ground. Nobody else will sit in that area. Nobody will move your chair. That's right. Go back to 1983. This is the 16th year for we Fest Jeff. What were you thinking about in 83 when you decided to do this what you have in mind can some history when I was 15. I hitchhiked to Woodstock. I was always the music. I love music. I got a backstage pass the Woodstock. I worked on the stage and it wasn't a credible experience for me always loved outdoor shows. I love music and an 83 in action 82. I saw the US Festival out in California, and I said I want to do what we Fest all of us together having this. Got an opposing need but this this weekend entertainment in your blood and and and and the excitement of an outdoor show and putting it together and organizing it always amazed me. I went to in that time. From the time I was fifteen to Seventeen. I must have went to ten outdoor shows. That was the Heyday of of of the big Big Show's all around the Midwest here where they had 40 or 50 different accent play and that really excited me. And so I care that with me until I was it wasn't bad thing that I carry with you is like baggage or anyting, you know, it was it was a fun day all I wanted to do it Falls Wisconsin and the the County Board there chase us out of town. They felt we were going to bring in a bad elements and you know, we'll destroy their city and they were right about that. Get an 83 a partner of of ours Terry McCluskey has a Lake cottage up here in Detroit Lakes. And when we got shut down, it's a white to try out the Detroit Lakes to the guy owns a ranch up there. He's doing some little concerts want you see what he thinks. I drove up the next day that early the next day did a deal with that gentleman and the rest is history property investment partner re Methuen in 1985 bought the property and and we have the company we Fest Inc. So in 83 you had a deal to use the land and how did you manage to talk these I mean, Alabama Tammy Wynette, Merle Haggard. You didn't start low you started pretty high in 83. How do you convince people? I could see it would be much easier 16 years later to say to Alan Jackson where the loving her we want you back. But when you're starting something for the first year and tell these people going to draw these huge crowds to wear outside Detroit Lakes, Minnesota will you know, we'll pay x amount of dollars. It's kind of it and they're routable in there in the area. You know, I I I I guess we were lucky I'd like to attributed to my skills as a hooker and a and a producer but I think that was more lucky than anything in and you know a lot had to do with my face and and and just hanging in there a person who love to play. Pancho's if it sounds like it's fun and financially it works for him. And you know, they're very interested bands want variety is only so many great dates they can get in a year and if they see when they can we grow do something big that's a lot of fun for a bear getting the performers committing yourself to the money getting this place lined up and waiting to see if you build it would they come did you know instantly at what point did you know this thing was going to work partner sitting over there when he was just laughing at his desk in the Twin Cities. He thought what a fool out the Detroit Lakes. How could you ever tried to do everything like that? He was my partner then and and I did book Alabama until June the end of June. I had the wrestler Showdown, but that didn't have Alabama done till the end of June and the show was in August and so they came on board. That's really what the fluid apart that that kind of sealed it then made it legitimate once I had the big dance sign. Combo. Yes, I'm sure had to happen because these people couldn't drive comfortably and drive home in a day such a beautiful area. If we if it's such a wonderful place to be for a 12 Lakes within 50 miles and having that happen. It was really a blessing because it works so well and that it was always the design that have a big campout Woodstock was a big campout owls that said I got that that's got to be the plant people to come spend 3 days when you said forty thousand people we expect that's forty thousand a day in a work. We're a hundred twenty thousand for the three days. And when you have a concert you have 40,000 people sing. They concert they come and go that's one thing but when they're here for 3 days or 4 day, is it really multiplies everything that you have to do from the rolls of toilet paper. You got to put in the bathrooms to the number of hay bales that you have to have out in the site to production crew. Foods hotel rooms it really is a lot different than just putting on a single day concert. About 10,000 a day about 30,000 people. And replace with that you look like a 200000 where you could you could you meet your expenses that year? It was a good year and people were excited and Alabama. Let us use their bus to go in the parade downtown in Detroit Lakes. It was amazing. It was really a fun time. It was actually one of the funnest events ever went to cuz it was a first-time thing that that actually happened you see the concert site now is in golfed with over a hundred and twenty some booze. They have a kind of Western Motif are Western Village. We had to boost them. Do we have any ghosts that we have temporary shed up one and we are Vance was a temporary plywood fence, but we bought the fly what? We least apply with the sell it that report higher pants down around this 2384. I lost four hundred thousand over $400,000 and that was a bad year. That wasn't fun at all. That was just poor planning and try to expand too fast. Try to go to five days. And it did it bad management. I just was I was falling Down Beer With You Learn by doing in the festival business that I needed help that I needed more heads and and it was it was in a way that was a blessing in disguise too because it it brought my partner Randy levian with 25 years of experience at that time at that time. He started to become somewhat of a Believer seeing that it actually could happen. I was 12 years older talk about this phenomenon of outdoor music festivals this camping music combo. We Fest the biggest in the country. Why we just listen to what the bands tell us. It seems to be if not the biggest certainly right up there. We please you know, we're told time and again, it's the biggest show they see. and started this whole let's get together. Let's Camp. Let's listen to music or worse with Frank Sinatra before that with her. Well, Jeff lives up here and he works at we Fest in the something. He's created this year called the spirit Fest. I live in Minneapolis. And I do you know promotions you around down there this summer coming is the lowest fare which you might be familiar with and we just finished the Ozzfest with the work fast, which is primarily a rock and roll and kid show. Earlier in the year. We did this George Strait touring festival at the Metrodome, which was very successful and every Memorial Day. I've always had kind of a school's out party that's become a two-day event out of Somerset Wisconsin that we call the Edgefest and that's been very very successful for us. Do you have oh, no, I think I think every Festival has its has its highlights though. This is country, but we don't hesitate to throw or anything from what Roy Orbison through the years that I've done to her and Rodger Miller and beach boys shirts with people you want to have a somewhat like music that people like music and if it's good talent, they may be an Alan Jackson fan, but that doesn't mean that they're not also a Beach Boys fan or a Willie Nelson fan and there's quite a mix. Are phone number today is one 800-537-5252. If you have ever been to we Fest or any outdoor Music Festival, we be interested in hearing your experience is calls with your questions or comments one 800-537-5252. Why is it a good deal for people to come to something like this ran if we seen more more people gravitate towards these instead of single performer venues life memories and when you can create an event, that's so encompassing that they're here twenty-four hours a day for three or four days that they're arranging their vacation times around it that many cases. This is year after year, you know, these are like season ticket holders that they really look forward to this and it isn't even so much that you know this particular band or that band that they're going to camp in the same place. They're going to see the same people. These are memories that are created over time. And Festival event does offer that opportunity. Well, certainly let me know if you go see any One Night band nowadays ticket prices around for quite high in some cases, but you don't maybe it's 30 or $40 for a headlight attraction in a Target Center or something like that. We're in a show like this. I think our single day price is $35 and worried. It's an outdoor mall here. There's just so much going on. So it's a good deal to be pretty but we sure think it is. 40000 last last year, we did 44,000 a day this year about 40,000 add a link. We might hit last year's numbers, but I don't actually works better at 40,000 people we can serve as well. We can always blame it on Alan Jackson. We've got Tony his Road manager here with us and we can blame him if his problem is the last time Alan Jackson was here in 1996 was our high water mark, we did fifty thousand plus it was a great ape Vape Alan Jackson played on the Sunday Ticket close the Shelf. It was incredible event, but it was hard to service 50,000 + is tough for this facility at 40000. We actually works better for us. We can service better food and beverage works better camping works better and it's just a lot more comfortable. We can handle 50,000 but it's just like the Metrodome, you know, they can they can do what? 60000 the one that's 60,000 go up go out in the corridors and you will cry with you if you can walk and it's actually kind of scary when it gets packed that. Barry comfortable and we had a wonderful crowd. We opened up early on Wednesday, which was really great that got people have two highways and worked. Well last night. We had a bout between five or six thousand people probably about ten thousand that came through but at any one time about 5,000 for the kickoff party up here and it was one of the best nights I ever had ever seen with the crowd are just full moon gorgeous night full moon gorgeous evening a band playing right of the stage were sitting on here and just well behaved and just really geared up and just having a good time was told our Securities ask me for double-time pay cuz it's a full moon today. They may need a rear main street report a damn Gunderson in the crowd this morning, and he is talking to some people who have been to we Fest before and some first-timers. Good morning, Dan. I'm down in front of the stage here where the heck Brothers Band is performing and up people around here pretty mellow their lawn chairs and enjoying the music ready for the show. There's a mix of people here and found three girls were here for the first time and tell me why you came. Why are you here? Have a good time. I guess what's your impression the first time here? What do you think of this whole scene? So what what are you really come for the music or the party? All the partying for the first time in pretty much the same. I just want country music. You think you'll be coming back again? Do I need tickets to work? I get them extra dip and bread. But everybody's pretty much having a good time. You don't feel like it gets out of hand. My job been here. He's been coming right over 7 years now and John how has this changed in the seven years that you've been coming what's changed? What's changed in the seven years you've been coming to this event has been years since I've been coming here is getting better and better and better and the way the guys running around here. They got wristbands now and stuff that they cleaned it up after the initial saying you don't know that but it's not too bad. I can't be spotting if you're on your way in here having a good time to come up here and it's what you make of it. So what is it really attract you is it the music? Are you a true country music band or is it just the atmosphere and always meeting some of the people from Jersey? Come back year after year to see the same people. Find you about two different groups found in the same ones in the back and forth. All right, Rachael Ray have it so you can do just about anything here across between the carnival and a theme park even the get a temporary tattoo. If your lottery ticket to get a new cowboy hat or cowboy boots are all the food you want all the beer you want to drink and I left some stuff done today and Country Music sounds like you're in heaven Dan Gunderson. Thank you. We've been talking to Dan Gunderson a Main Street reporter who's out in the crowd at we Fest and that's where we're broadcasting from. We Fest is just outside of Detroit Lakes. Where in a perfect spot, especially after listening to Dan fighting to be her down there. We are up high overlooking the stage and the concert scene here and we can actually see if couple of likes from where we're sitting and some of the campgrounds in the distance here. We don't get positive reports like that all the time. It's sunny. It's approaching 80° and it's a great we Fest weather. With us this morning. He's the Major for Alan Jackson, and actually Jackson is going to be performing tonight at 10:30. Tony handles those a management duties but also takes the stage and plays with the band sometimes as well. Hun. Tony enough to keep me going. Where do you play harmonica? Sort of concert setting it's always a party atmosphere that's always a plus for someone on stage because the people on stage feed off of what they're getting from the crown, you know, the better to better that what's coming from the crowd the more that goes out to the crowd so it makes a big difference. Does it get to be so much of a party atmosphere that sometimes the poor? If anybody is really listening to them or when you're Alan Jackson, that's never a problem. It really hasn't been a problem. I remember being here two years ago when the weather didn't cooperate and I don't think there was an empty seat. I think everybody stayed, you know, everybody was partying and everybody had a great time. Logistics of getting Alan Jackson and his crew told me 38 people about her going to be here with him the production people the stage crew the techies. How do you get him here in Detroit Lakes? This isn't like playing the Target Center where you can fly to Minneapolis Saint Paul International Airport to be over there in 20 minutes and then be gone from there. How do you do when you're out in the middle? It's not very hard to get here. It's really easy to get to Detroit Lakes. As far as our buses go week. We carry three buses that brings all of our people up but Allen Allen flies in and there's a there's an airport here in Detroit Lakes it that we utilize and it's really easy he comes in, you know, he will he will definitely get in late. He's a he's very he's very family-oriented so as much time as he can stay at home he does so he came in the van will be coming up with the whole band like that actually pays. Life gets very close to being equal if it is to take a private plane. If he takes his damn like that it comes out economically comes out often to the better of it. touchdown to Detroit Lakes today I'm looking Is this a trick question? You are so corny. I know it'll be 7:30 ish. It's hard to get paid when you don't show up. So one thing they do is get here on time. He comes down and they have a temporary dressing room that's assigned to him to get ready for the show. It's basically once they get here it's almost like when the backstage area is almost like being any other show, you know, your ear your environments there for you. That's why we we we carry the buses will can you carry your full set of the show. Is that a fair statement to just an answer me to my recollection a big part of the negotiation obsessed with Alan cuz he's very concerned that each show is his show that he doesn't want to just kind of like, well, I'll just went off this one, you know, it's very important to make sure that they bring their full sets with a customer gets the great Alan Jackson show every time I see it. When we on stage, how long does it take your group to set up before he can go on we'll look at this Festival. Everybody is so accommodating. We actually set our set up last night. The stage is is large enough when we can back our stage up and the are set up and just you got plenty of room for anything else to go up there. So the power of rolling casters exactly like I move out of the way so it's it's it's very simple actually in our crew came in last night and set everything up the that takes the extra time. So it was crazy a day early exactly. What kind of show how long will that be from 85 to 100 minutes. So we're actually slotted for like 90 minutes. So it's probably going to be right around there. And can fans expect a great show tonight. Absolutely clear allowed. You'll do a long show. I know that the agency they've they've we wanted to bring out Alan back at we waited a year. It doesn't pay for us. Sometimes you do back-to-back, but we've met before and it's that is a great crew to work with we're leaving actually one of their semis we were using the video screen. It actually sets up right backstage and they work the video screen right out of the back of their somebody that works out great. So that's tonight at 10:30. Do you plan to have or do you always set it up Jeff where you have the biggies ending up each evening to be kind of build to a certain climax every night part of Show Business, you know, you got to save the best for last. And in this case, it's Friday night with Alan Jackson That's the Best For Last but you know, I for Alan Jackson are complemented show. We have an incredible variety of talent for those 3 days and that's what makes the Archer I think so unique this year, you know, it's not a buyer's market or seller's market so you don't always get your wish list to put together wishlist. Here's what you want this acting that yet, but I'll tell you this year. We really got lucky and got some of the best I think live performers in the business should tell people today is Lee Ann Womack and Blackhawk Billy Ray Cyrus Came to replace Collin Raye who would have to cancel for his own reasons then Martina McBride than Alan Jackson. Your country found at all. That's right through every award ceremony for the last 3-4 years, you know, this is a plateful. I mean this is meat and potatoes here and you know what? It's it's a it's a lot and if that doesn't tickle your fancy, I mean Saturday even gets better, you know, you had it Neal McCoy Patty Loveless you have ending with Vince Gill before that who is showcased at the CMA convention. You don't think about Billy Ray Cyrus. Let me just say I go down to see him a convention every October. I know you guys are represented it down there and Billy Ray Cyrus is always wanted to play are showing when he was really hot in 1994 that goes 93-94 it we just never connected and then I got kind of a bum rap for me. Anyways a lot was going to one one hit wonder and he can't really do it. I'll tell you this guy is hung in there. He's got one of the best fanbases you will ever want to see I mean, he's got like 16 internet sites. They are incredible that he's hung in there and his album right now is one of the hottest albums out there and you're going to see a real emotional performance from Billy Ray Cyrus because it was such a connection was like he was close by our prayers go out to call Andres a hard-working Play We wish you could have played but it didn't happen. I have him Billy Ray Cyrus's if I think going to be a great compliment to the Alan Jackson show having him up there and I just got to say it if you're in the area of never been that we Fest this is going to be an incredible night Attalla ran Levi and Tony C. Thanks for coming with us and we are going to continue our program with Jeff Krieger. We're also going to bring in some of the people from Becker County to see about what the logistics are in setting up a small. City like this for a few days. You're listening to a special Main Street radio program from we Fest mpr's Main Street radio coverage of Royal issues is supported by the blandin foundation committed to strengthening communities through grant-making leadership training and convening will be back with weather and more of Main Street at we Fest right after this. I want to hear some Jones. My heart ain't bother Stone. I don't feel like talking. Play Me a Country Song. volume drop that phone Eat one thing in mind. We Fest performer Alan Jackson and he'll be on stage tonight at 10:30. Today's weather in the Twin Cities called for scattered showers throughout today high of 80° 40% chance of rain tonight with a low of 62° Saturday sky is clearing by the afternoon a high of 83 degrees the wing Fest forecast looks a lot better than that here in Northwestern Minnesota. We are enjoying partly sunny skies. We're going for a high of 85° today partly cloudy skies tonight 57° and tomorrow sunny and warmer 90° and sunshine at we Fest for tomorrow. I'm Rachel revian. We're continuing our live Main Street broadcast from we Fest. Our phone lines are open for your calls at one 800-537-5252. We have a bird's-eye view of the concert stage in the crowd gathered here at we Fest the first day of the three-day Country Music & camping Festival organiser. Jeff Krieger is with me we Conjoined by Sheriff Tom Hunt and administrator Mike Williams both from Becker County where we Fest is located. Good morning. Gentlemen, we waiting for us. We have Christine from Detroit Lakes on the phone. Good morning Christine. I'm calling just I find it interesting that you are going on at Such Great Lengths about the great view that you have in a bird's-eye seat and perhaps I have a little less Savory view of the we Fest. I live a little further south of Detroit Lakes immediately adjacent to a public access that for the next 3 days becomes basically a large outdoor toilet and bathtub and concertgoers appear apparently in various states of sobriety tune to do whatever nature calls them to do here and I will come back for County Sheriff's. I've already had to place one call to them really responsive but I just think that if you're if if the organizers of this event think that you can successfully accommodate 40,000 people comfortably I would beg them to consider the impact that this event has on lakes and and residents here. What would you like to see happen? I wear I don't know. You know, I don't know what the you know, the the thrill of camping within 6 in of someone else's camping and 2 to have a great time while someone throws beer cans at you and and yells all night is something that eludes me but if they really are going to build this and promote this as a as an on-site event for three days, I would suggest they have some sort of infrastructure to allow people to bathe and use the bathroom other than my head. Sure, come on. Let's let's ask you about that. Just typical of the kind of reaction we get from people who live around here from the city of Detroit Lakes. They had a problem their number years ago with a lot of people out of rivers running around and using people's Lawns for whatever reason and it'll happen out here too. But I think they made great strides out here in the past couple of years and trying to hold the the number of people down to provide all those facilities. They need to bathe properly and to stay away from people's residences at people get a new breed of they're going to do that and we're doing our best to to help out to see to it doesn't happen. We are gaining ground. It is not fun for the person that has somebody coming into your yard and doing these type of things and they will respond to those as quick as we can. How many officers do we have here in probably 30 from my department. And we have 30 from the sheriff's department. And then there are members of the highway patrol here. I'm Highway plus they bring into the team of officers from out State Minnesota if there's another 10 or so so all told how many how many uniform people to think we might have Why would anyone time you're probably running about 70 to 80 at the peak periods and maybe even a few more in the night time, you'll see between ages security event staff and security and I guess you called security right in the National Guard. We have 300 National Guard Personnel on duty not all at one time. But at any given time there's about a hundred per shift to help keep the peace here. Let me just respond to what you said. First of all, we've built showers out here shelf shower facilities and every Campground we have portable showers at all of the temporary campgrounds and you know, it's unfortunate that we can't be the managers of every person, you know, during the Fourth of July here. We've had some problems with You know what people you know, just kind of abuse and in a way in and and at any time and I don't know when there's been a lot of people Gathering you some people just tend to can't control their their themselves for some reason and you find a bathroom somewhere. I I don't get it but you know to me that's a problem. But when you look at the income dollars that this festival and the workforce bring in its tremendous and so I'm not saying that that that's not a problem that shouldn't be looked at but I think for a 3 day. If a few people happened to urinate near my house I just it's not okay, but it's not the end of the world either and I hope people would understand that we try to do everything we can to make this event run in a safe and they're certain rules that we hope people would abide abide. We say the golden was always been our rule, you know, don't fit in French and other people and I just you know, We do a lot. We've done a lot in the last year's to try to rectify that image, but I got to tell you we have one of the best audiences in the country when you get 50,000 people together, you're going to have a few bad apples no matter what OK and but for the most part we have one of the best audiences in the I got to stay in this United States for it would just blow apart. You can have three days and have a few as few problems as we do without some really good people also attending this Festival. Get you involved in this conversation. You are the Becker County Administrator. First thing. He conomic impact. Is it substantial? It would be nice to to do an analysis see what the economic impact is to this community in this area because I know it's huge and I don't Jeff might have even a better idea because he knows the numbers better than I do, but I don't know exactly but it is big. I mean you just look around here and and you see the vendors in the end of everybody that's employed here. And and how many dollars are brought into this community for the next 3 days. It's it's tremendous people don't understand the workforce to it's not just the dollars that are in flexed into the community during the three days, but they don't we have over a million 1/2 dollar payroll that stays in this community that trickles down the manager who made $1,500 here. He's going to spend that here in Detroit Lakes. He made by his groceries is gas, you know summer Appliances or whatever in the next couple weeks here or months in Detroit Lakes. So there's this a ripple effect that people don't really look at they think or just three days. It's a guy who's going to be at Perkins The Filling Station and then they're all gone. Well, that's not the case so that the the impactors is in the Millions. regulate how they can come permit the we Fest call Doug Gathering permit and some and that permits. It says 50,000 people and saw that that regulates a whole host of things to do in what what Japanese step do every year if they pull together a plan and they and they presented to us and and that we go through and everything from traffic control safety law enforcement restrooms. And in the toilet facilities in and everything is is basically included in that permit. We Fest been driven by your office saying we've got to do this with got to have a different way to move the pedestrians in and out. We need the shower facilities at the campgrounds permit process has allowed the county in in we Fest to to work together closely in and actually at you know, I'm very complimentary of the we Fest because they do do their best to to make everything run smoothly and I think through the years we've worked They're pretty well in and making those decisions of how to move people and keep people safe from you know, a couple of projects we've done just in the last few years was the under the walkway is under the major roads here and if we did that together with our highway department and that's that's been a really really good addition for the safe to get in those kinds of things that happen throughout the years very mutual. I have to say that the county the sheriff's department and all the members of the safety commission have been very supportive and actually have helped us work out problems instead of being at Hajj where we can't or impassive always help us work if there's a problem is sit down and work it out until that that's been exciting for me that it's more of a Cooperative effort. And my does the county is Becker County bear the full financial responsibility of providing this infrastructure or is we Fest company share that with you when we first hersher. Greatly, they be compensated our law enforcement agencies for the work that they do and I'd like to see some of the infrastructure projects that they have going on out here have been in conjunction with County work, but we Fest is help help to pay for those. So it's it's they pay their own way. Complaints by Christine on the phone coming to the County Board in any substantial number saying we don't want this. We don't want we Fest hear it when we when we went through the process we had some some people that came and make comments and and you know, that's why we go through the process but as far as complaints, there are pretty minor really are phone lines are open today. You can call us and join this conversation at one 800-537-5252. I'm Rachel reading or listening to a special Main Street broadcast from we Fest Kelly from Osseo was on the phone with us. Go ahead with your question or comment Kelly glorious Friday morning to all four of you. I've met him myself was attended several outdoor music festivals and still needs to get up to we Fest. I do Envy the position that all of you are in this morning. I have one question for a sheriff hunt and and two questions for mr. Krieger offer stall. I asked my question of sheriff hunt and it is annually how many arrests or citations are given to we Fest patrons every year during this Festival. Well, I can tell you from our department is probably in the vicinity of the Bob 30. I can't speak for the highway patrol. I know they come up here with their raid teams and issue a number of citations to people and they're not call. We Fest boundy. There's a lot of people that are local so that we can tree associate with it. But they are they But as far as ours is concerned. We don't have that many we process the ones that really need to go through and try to keep everybody else on an even Keel and then hopefully it'll all work out for the best. What's the worst thing Sheriff hunt that's happened here in the years of we Fest actual life-threatening situations. Where a young person lost your life, but the other ones are usually domestic-related people not getting along the weather is warm and they're fighting or theft of stuff from other people radios coolers are those type of situations nothing real major and we've had in the past. We've had a few assaults reported them females and with the help with a crisis center Detroit Lakes in with the with the staff out here of any more cut that down to just about nothing right now. So that's that's encouraging. Looking to attract other major summer musical festivals an example of some maybe being Ozzfest Warped Tour word Fest will Affair and then any number of new Festival that might start up in the coming years to Detroit Lakes this year. Actually you did start with a new fence by a second Venture is called Spirit Fest. It's a Christian Festival the Gathering of families uplifting the Lord and bringing people together and their teachings of Jesus Christ, and it was very very powerful this year. We had over 35,000 people in attendance and it was a true blessing for me, you know, there is a little there are problems, but with me in terms of lifestyle that we Fest but again, I'm not another person's keeper for me. It's a celebration of country music for the Christian event. It was bringing families together. Play it was just a tremendous. We had both Lake Sally and Northwoods were completely filled there was little or no clean up at all at the end of the festival at 17,000 people for the Amy Grant show on Saturday night. There was no cleanup. No security we had minimal County Highway or Highway Patrol. They were here and assisting it. Was it just a wonderful if that is something that I look forward to working on next year and expanding. I think it'll be an explosion right? I think we'll do 30 and 40,000. Those are the only two vessels that I have planned for this site. And that's up. That's a plateful. I believe me. We work on this all year long and doing both those festivals really had a quite busy. Different atmosphere Sheriff hunt for the spirit Fest they were pretty happy when they left so they problems we have remaining with traffic trying to get people in and out. Where do you want to go and an assisting with the lot of people came haven't been to we Fest before so they didn't know the way around so we had to spend a little extra time with it, but it worked out very well. Somebody told me you had to take down the Marlboro Man for Spirit Fest will actually Marlboro is not a sponsor. We didn't take it down for the Christian Fest. We took it down because Marlboro is no longer can sponsor event like this and so we had to take off the Marlboro signature on it, but not the cowboy is his representative of our event that that's what it is. So, you know what country music at Celebration at country music in spirit Fest. It was a celebration of Jesus Christ, you know, I don't take off my Jesus. Hey, I can put on my country hat. Jesus is with me all the time. You know, I just happened to be in the business of promoting a country music festival and it may be seem hypocritical. But God put me in this position for some reason, you know, and I think the reason is because I get to talk to people like you about what I'm doing. best business in the And wrote that you should have rode the rails up to the country music explosion. Are you feel like you're doing the same with Christian music with Sunshine Festival in just a lot more attention. Focus Now I'm That Kind of Music. I think there's a lot of families who want to go in and stand in be part of an entertainment have a good time. And there just aren't a lot of really good entertainment events out there that they can go to it that your family is in a Fanta to going to and I don't care if it's a Vikings game or a whatever it is. It's it's they're not all family-orientated where you can bring your kids and and that's the opportunity that's provided with Spirit Fest. We Fest was never designed for children in mind. It was also considered and it was always planned to be an adult of them. And so that's a difference were given an opportunity for people who want to be the to celebrate Music In The Great Outdoors and after, Unity to do that with their families and young children this venue into the surrounding Community as well. And I don't know how many buses they run, but there is plenty of people that travel each day to and from Fargo as well. So yeah, you wouldn't you wouldn't be able to find a hotel room in and I don't know probably 50 miles 80 miles. Yeah. What are the improvements that have happened over the years and we talked on the phone? You told me those years were there were fifty thousand people here a little nervous that was teetering on the edge for you a few thousand more people and we're capable of handling. I don't have a place to put them for parking Vehicles. Maybe the campgrounds aren't enough and yet these people are come here and they want to be entertained and if you don't have the room somebody's going to get upset so I strapped down a little bit. I think it's a lot more comfortable for my department to work with these people because we have a place we can put them they're easy to get along with so it's it's working better. Just where you go from here, you already said that the spirit Fest and we Fest that will be enough for you. Although some people might come here and see this huge 700-acre facility. And now you have the infrastructure. Now, you've got the shower thing. You've got The Pedestrian underpass has it would seem kind of logical to think let's keep this place rocking every weekend doesn't work a single day concerts and other forms of Music have never worked on this site. We've tried to do Neil Diamond and he went to the Fargodome. We tried to do Rod Stewart who went to the Fargodome. We try to do Billy Joel Billy Joel. He went to the Fargodome. The thing is we're competing against artists that are they at like to play indoors control the weather again. We're not on the major routing Detroit Lakes isn't Fargo is Fargo has the international airport. We have a small airport. Alan Jackson can fly it cuz he has a private plane and for us those kind of things you can't depend on you can't depend on a Loyal fanbase in rock and roll because ages change in rock and roll music. It just recycles. It's it's not the same from year to year. It's constantly changing in the markets passing JJ country music you have a solid loyal audience that's here from now until 20 years from now in Christian music. It's the same thing. You have a loyal audience that you can build on that people are going to come from now until 20 30 years from now in the same with the talent in country music they're easy to work with it's easy to contract them and talk with management and agencies in the same a Christian music. It's easy to talk with agents and management and get commitments. Where's other forms of music rock and roll alternative. Those forms of music that are hard to connect with when you do a Lollapalooza tour it it's hard to make it happen there. They can cut I'll just give you an example we went to I was totally against this. I was not part of something I wanted to do. My partner's want to do a Lollapalooza show here and it up coming back here from vacation and we had to sort out some of the permitting stuff and and it wasn't something I want to do but we went ahead and did it and sign that ate a temporary contract with Lollapalooza the do what they want us to tear out the sound booth tear out all the Rayleigh completely reconfigure the site for a class that two or three hundred thousand dollars. We didn't share in the Lion's Share of the ignition. After doing after getting ready to do all those things. 2 a month into negotiating all this in working with the county and driving me nuts cuz I didn't want to do it. They go when we're not coming. We're going to go to outside Chicago by that's the aggravation. We had plenty of public comment. We were going through that permitting process. Say no we're not we're not doing them here every weekend. We're not going to week we can do these two, but that's about what the market will bear a certain number of events per year. So if there if they were going to begin to exceed that they would have to come back and request for the permitting and you know what that time and we could we could say yes or no? So I think I think I think we permit u-47 events now or something like that. We're halfway through this Main Street broadcast from we Fest Jeff Krieger Tom Hunt in Mike Williams. Thanks for being with us today. Next hour. We're going to turn our attention to another summer diversion personal watercraft those small noisy boats that have caused such a stir on some Lakes including those in the Detroit Lakes area can personal watercraft coexist with all the other boats on Minnesota lakes. We'll talk about it when we continue our Main Street special after the news, but first we're going to close the sour with the song from one of this year's we Fest performers Mary Chapin Carpenter will be onstage here Sunday evening. I'm Lorna Benson on the next All Things Considered will celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of the world's oldest Sherlock Holmes clubs. It's all things considered weekdays at 3 on Minnesota Public Radio. Can o w FM 91.1 You're listening to Minnesota Public Radio. It's 70 degrees that can o w FM 91.1 Minneapolis-Saint Paul. Today is Twin Cities weather calls for scattered showers a high of 80° 40% chance of rain tonight with a low of 62 Sky's clearing on Saturday by the afternoon and 83°. It's 1201. From national public radio news in Washington. I'm & OHS Elle President Clinton says the bombings at 2 US embassies in East Africa are inhuman acts of terrorist violence and he vows to use all means at his disposal to bring the bombers to justice as many as 7 Americans are reported killed in the bombings NPR's Peter Kenyon reports know the bombings at US Embassy buildings in Nairobi. Kenya and Dar es Salaam Tanzania appear to have been coordinated. No one has claimed responsibility for them. The president said medical experts investigators and counterterrorism Personnel are being dispatched to East Africa, and he pledged that the bombings would not go unpunished these acts of violence or important. They are in human. We will use all the means at our disposal. Bring those responsible to Justice no matter what or how long it takes. The president said the families and loved ones of the American and African victims of the explosions or in his thoughts and prayers out of respect for those killed. He's ordered u.s. Flags lowered to half-staff around the world Peter Kenyon NPR news the White House of each other and killing dozens of people and injuring hundreds. John Greenlee is an American relief worker. His office is in Nairobi just across the street from the US Embassy he was there when the bomb went off when I don't I don't know how you can make it in pounds of bombs are you know life is equal to 10000 pound Bond seem like to me it is a pretty big one. We had to walk the distance around the roundabout to get out of there and I noticed many many dealings with Sherry glass within 1/4. I block the distance. Things to both Kenya and Tanzania and security has been tightened at US embassies throughout Africa Chicago. Businessman. Steve Fossett is ready to make a fourth try at circling the globe non-stop in a hot air balloon Andrea Marie reports from St. Louis sometime today from a soccer stadium in Argentina. If you successful the twenty thousand mile trip across the southern hemisphere will take it out 18 days to the 10th of the trip from St. Louis earlier this year but a problem with his heating system forced into touchdown in southern Russia. The new flight plan will help him avoid countries such as Libya which could prevent him from entering their airspace the millionaire adventurer who is new flight plan and some design changes will help him become the first solo balloonist to ever complete a Non-Stop round-the-world trip for NPR news on Andre of Murray in St. Louis. This our the DOW Industrials are up 78 and 3/4 points at 8655. This is NPR news support for National Public Radio comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Geraldine R Dodge foundation for reporting on biological resource issues. Good afternoon with news from Minnesota Public Radio on TuneIn pugmire. Former vice president Walter Mondale says the US House of Representatives approval of a ban on soft money campaign contributions will put pressure on Senate leaders who are opposed to the bill the bill would hold currently unregulated contributions to political parties and tighten restrictions on advertisements Mondale co-chair to bipartisan effort to Rally Congressional support for campaign Finance reform. He contends a majority in the Senate favor the bill after the house in the action in the house. I think we would be even get more support. The problem is whether the leadership will filibuster. Spell like they did last time or not. I'm hopeful that they'll raise the bill now with the house having adopted it. I think there's a lot more pressure on the Senate Mondale says he's pleased with the House vote which he calls very significant Washington County district court judges being publicly reprimanded for cursing during a courtroom hearing a year ago. The Minnesota Board on judicial standards says Judge Thomas Armstrong violated the code on judicial conduct dfl candidate for attorney general Mike Hatch wants homeowners to have their own Bill of Rights under a plan on Vail today homeowners would receive interest on their escrow accounts mortgage Originators would be required to disclose the lowest interest rates available and homeowners could prepay mortgage without penalties State forecast this afternoon scattered showers in a few thunderstorms in the East Central and South partly sunny in the Northwest highs from the 70s to the mid-80s and Twin Cities scattered showers. Thunderstorms the high in the low 70s the last report Rochester 70 Duluth 66 the Twin Cities 70° that's news for Minnesota Public Radio on Tim pugmire.