Baker Says City Withdrawal On Riverbend Security Will Make Pin Costs Rise Next Year

Friday, May 17, 2013
Chip Baker
Chip Baker

Riverbend Festival Executive Director Chip Baker told the Civitan Club on Friday that the city's decision to no longer provide city police officers inside the festival gates will cost pin prices to go up next year.

Mr. Baker said, "I understand the actions that governments have to take, but we'll have to adjust our prices next year. How much, I don't know yet."

City officials said the city will save about $200,000 by not furnishing the officers free of charge.

Instead, off-duty city and county officers will work at Riverbend and be paid by the festival. Also, Mr. Baker said, there will be 10 employees of the Emerson Russell security agency.

Travis McDonough, the mayor's chief of staff, said many city officers will be not far away should a major issue arise.

Mr. Baker said he found out about the city's withdrawal a couple of weeks ago.

He said in the wake of that surprising news, "We have a great security plan in place."

It again will be led by Austin Garrett of the city police, he said.

Mr. Baker said the recent Charlie Daniels concert at Engel Stadium was a hit, and he expects to see more such events in the historic ballpark.

He said, "It was really cool. It was a great event. I think we will be doing more things there. There are 5,400 workable seats."

Mr. Baker said at one time when Bonaroo was centered around jam bands there were not conflicts with Riverbend. But he said now that Bonaroo has a much more diverse lineup that Riverbend does sometimes lose out on acts it would like to have.



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