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Concertgoers will no longer be able to bring their own alcohol to the Friday night outdoor concert series at Yards Park this summer. But they’re not giving up without some really angry tweets and an online protest. As of this afternoon, more than 1,600 people had signed a Change.org petition that calls on the Capitol Riverfront BID to reverse the BYOB ban.
Sorry, folks, but no matter how many signatures there are, it isn’t happening.
Capitol Riverfront BID VP of Parks and the Public Realm Dan Melman says as popularity of the six-year-old concert series has increased, so has the trash. Between three and five tons of trash were removed every Friday night last summer. When more than 5,000 people turned out to see cover band White Ford Bronco, close to eight tons of trash was collected.
“When you have eight tons of trash, you don’t have recycling anymore,” Melman says. “People are not looking at one trash can. They’re like, ‘We’re just putting it near a trash can because it’s so crowded.'”
But Melman says what the BYOB ban really boils down to is insurance, which has become even more of an issue as the event has grown. “A BYOB option is not possible with our park insurance, and without the park insurance, we can’t offer concerts,” he says.
There will, however, be alcohol at the Friday night concert series—you just have to buy it there. Corona and Modelo are sponsors, and cans of beer and glasses of wine will be available, as they were last year. The Capitol Riverfront BID asked nearby brewery Bluejacket to be involved in 2015, as they were the year prior, but they declined.
“If we can remove one ton of beer bottles from our collection stream, that’s huge,” Melman says. “Cans when they’re empty weigh very little. Bottles when they’re empty weigh a lot.”
In response to complaints that the lines will be too long, Melman says they’ve spoken to vendors about having more outposts. He also assures prices won’t go up. A bucket of five beers will go for $20 and individual beers will cost $5.
“In truth, there is only one aspect of this event that is changing and it is your ability to bring beer and wine,” Melman says. “The concerts are still generally going to be the same… You’re able to bring in picnics. You’re able to enjoy this with your friends.”
Take a look at the concert lineup here.