Hours 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