Proposed map of the festival, courtesy of Josh Fischel. Fischel was quick to emphasize the above is a work in progress, and he is open to adapting the plan to meet the needs of residents.
Organizers for the upcoming Long Beach music festival Music Tastes Good are scrambling to meet the demands of East Village residents after the event was forced to change locations in downtown Long Beach.
According to event organizer Josh Fischel, the event was originally slated to kick off largely on and around Pine Avenue, but fire and police regulations, made clear last May, forced the event to move to Linden Avenue.
Residents were caught off guard regarding the change in location, noting it’s the third event to impact the street in three weeks (running Friday, September 23 through Sunday the 25), after the Downtown Long Beach Associates’ (DLBA) Buskerfest and the monthly art walk.
“I learned about the event two weeks ago,” said Joe Kross, president of the Lafayette Association of Homeowners. He said most of his concerns revolved around entering and exiting the building, and ensuring accessibility among disabled tenants in the building.
“I expect it’s a wonderful event,” said Sheila Nelson, a resident of the Lafayette building at 140 Linden Avenue. “My only concern is they drop it in a residential neighborhood.”
Kross was quick to note that Fischel responded very quickly to concerns, and Fischel himself said he wants to make residents happy.
“Even through the contention, there have been lots of eye-opening stuff for us,” said Fischel. “We’re a downtown business, just like a lot of these other businesses are.”
Additional community meetings were set to occur this morning, and a final meeting is scheduled for 7:30PM Monday, August 29 at Padre.
The main stage is located in the same location envisioned from the start: the Acres of Books parking lot. Originally, the festival was taking place mostly around Pine Avenue, with the aim of showcasing the city’s streets themselves as an urbane, sophisticated music venue, and the organizers were hopeful they could bridge that location with the Acres of Books stage. However, police and fire said Long Beach Boulevard’s Metro made such a union impossible.
With the change in location, Fischel said the group wants to hear from residents so they can form a site map most people will be on board with, including fencing some business in and some businesses, as well as maintaining alleyway access for everyone in the buildings. He said the streets will be shut down Friday around 10:00PM through Sunday at 5:00AM, so “a little more than 24 hours.”
Second District Councilmember Jeannine Pearce said last week was the first she’d heard of resident concerns regarding the festival.
“We’ll try to mitigate concerns,” she said, pointing to current outreach and more proactive outreach on behalf of the city being key in the future.
"I'm actually pro-event—just not where it's located," said Kross. "Will I buy a ticket? Absolutely. Just big picture, how will police and fire respond?"
Padre is located at 525 East Broadway.