Residents concerned about proposed music festival

Residents concerned about proposed music festival

Some of the biggest names in country music want to make one Wisconsin town their destination for a music festival. The only problem is, residents are pushing back with concerns.

Matt Pasteris is one of more than 100 residents who signed a petition asking the town of Delton to deny a proposal for a three-day country music festival.

“It’s going to be awful messy. It’s going to be like the Indy 500 over here ,” said Pasteris “The roads don’t support it. We have an event that bring 12,000 people over a three-day weekend and it jams the roads,” he said.

The proposed Country Splash Festival featuring headliners including Tim McGraw, Eric Church and Miranda Lambert would be located on 230 acres off Sand Road between Baraboo and Lake Delton, attracting as many as 15,000 to 20,000 fans a day during July 2018. Beartooth Ventures Inc. is asking the town of Delton for a temporary permit that would allow entertainment on the proposed site.

Pasteris, who lives near the site, is not only concerned with the traffic the event will bring but also questions the noise levels and effects on property value if the music festival becomes an annual event.

“If this becomes a permanent thing, what happens to our property value and such? I might have a harder time selling my house knowing that concerts are going on,” he said.

He is also concerned for the potential for drunk driving.

“It’s safety, safety, safety at the end of the day. I don’t want to read about somebody getting T-boned at Sand Road and State Trunk Highway 23 which is a very busy state highway,” said Pasteris.

Beartooth Ventures owners Michael and Kathy Slaght have organized other country music festivals including County Jam USA in Eau Claire and Country Thunder when it was held in Lake Geneva. Greg Straub, attorney for Beartooth Ventures, said the Slaghts’ experience with past music festivals will help Country Splash run smoothly. The company has consulted with the state DOT, law enforcement agencies and other local authorities. More than 200 security officers will be on-site and traffic will be managed with help from the Sauk County Sheriff’s Department. Beartooth Ventures has also established an escrow account to cover the cost of any damage from concertgoers.

“We have the capitalization to help repair and offer that up to the neighbors and the city to make sure if there is any damage that has been caused by the attendees or our event that we can replace it,” said Straub.

If a permit is granted, the company hopes to host the festival annually. Straub said the event will bring an opportunity for economic growth for the area.

“Being able to put local folks to work, bringing business to the local restaurant, stores and merchants. This is not just putting on a local event. This will have a significant financial impact for anyone in the neighboring areas.

The town board has not scheduled a date to vote on the permit. Beartooth Ventures said it is willing to work with the town to make adjustments as needed.