Arts Desk

National Park Service Responds to Cancellation of Fort Reno Concerts

fortrenoHours after Fort Reno organizer Amanda MacKaye pulled the plug on the annual concert series after saying she'd failed to reach an agreement with the National Park Service and U.S. Park Police, the Park Service has responded. According to MacKaye, the Park Service said that in order for the series to be approved for a permit, it would have to pay for a U.S. Park Police officer to staff each concert. However, MacKaye said, Park Service and Park Police officials did not show up to a meeting yesterday.

A Park Service spokeswoman just emailed this response:

Today, the National Park Service (NPS) was notified by the permit applicant for the Fort Reno concert series that she intended to postpone the concerts. The United States Park Police (USPP) reached out to the applicant today. The NPS and USPP are reviewing the details of previous permits and previous law enforcement needs related to the concert series. Our primary goal is public safety. Both the NPS and USPP recognize the importance of the concerts to the community and look forward to further discussions with the permit applicant.

Asked to discuss additional questions, the spokeswoman said, "This is really all we have at the moment."

Arts Desk isn't the only one eagerly awaiting an explanation about the cancellation of the shows. Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, who represents parts of Montgomery County in Congress, sent a letter to the Park Service today after hearing complaints from constituents who attend the concerts. Here's the letter:

Photo by Darrow Montgomery


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  • Henry

    You did a very poor job of redacting the Representative's phone number. There are only two possibilities based on a knowledge of Maryland area codes.

  • l. perry
  • Jabber

    Punk Percussion Protest time.

  • Northwesterneer

    Why have the African-Americans who run the Fort Dupont series been asked the pay for cops for 10+ years but the white people at Fort Reno have only been asked to pay for one cop this one year?

  • Pingback: Fort Reno Organizer to Meet With National Park Service Monday - Arts Desk

  • Nightman

    How about getting some business to sponsor the series if it continues this year or next. The money used could pick up the tab for the Police presence How about the D.C. City Paper? Other businesses could be nightclubs, record stores and like minded companies that support the scene. If we have to deal with a bunch of ad banners on the stage for I say "so be it1"

  • Northwesterneer

    I think this is proof that if people want Fort Reno to go on, then it has to have new management. It's clear that the person managing it now would rather have canceled it than let someone else manage it- they have to go!

  • Fred

    Nightman, how about we keep Fort Reno concerts free from corporate sponsors? It's been that way for forty years. Why are so many eager suckle at the corporate teet and have logos and ads pushed under our noses? The nice thing about Fort Reno is that its solely about the music and the city.. no one uses it to pimp their products (except maybe the ice cream man when he pulls his truck up the street but he's no sponsor!). No, I do not want any red-bull flags on the stage, thank you (or anything other than what a band chooses to put there).