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Representatives of the National Park Service will meet with Fort Reno summer concert series organizer Amanda MacKaye on Monday. Yesterday, MacKaye announced that this summer’s shows were canceled after she was unable to meet with Park Service and U.S. Park Police representatives to discuss her permit. MacKaye said that with only a month to go before the summer’s first shows, NPS asked that the concert series pay for a Park Police presence at each show.
MacKaye confirms that meeting will take place on Monday. It was brokered by D.C. Shadow Sen. Paul Strauss, who was a Fort Reno organizer in the 1980s and early 1990s. Strauss says Park Service officials will be present, and adds, “I’m sure the police will be a part of it.”
Strauss says he’s optimistic that a solution will be reached: “It’s obvious any talks are preliminary, and I appreciate their willingness to work with my office so we can try to keep these concerts going. I would hate to not have concerts at the park for the first time since 1968.” Still, he cautions, “I don’t want to raise to many expectations, but I asked them to sit down, and they agreed to sit down, and I think that’s a positive step.”
A Park Service spokeswoman hasn’t responded to an email earlier this afternoon about meeting with MacKaye. Yesterday, the agency issued a statement that read in part, “Both the NPS and USPP recognize the importance of the concerts to the community and look forward to further discussions with the permit applicant.”
Update, 5:08 p.m. National Park Service spokesman Jennifer Mummart has also confirmed the meeting. She writes:
Yes, the National Park Service, United States Park Police and the permit applicant plan to meet on Monday about the concert series at Fort Reno. We appreciate the opportunity to talk through the concerns and hope to come to an understanding about the best options for moving forward.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery