Mifflin Street community members and city police officers continued to weigh logistics and concerns over the upcoming Mifflin Street Block Party as well as the alternative event to be held around Union South at a meeting Thursday.
Madison Police Department Lt. Kelly Donahue said MPD had its first planning meeting last week, but needed to learn more about the alternative event from the university before MPD moved forward with plans for how to police the day.
“We are definitely getting geared up,” she said. “Our focus is turning to Mifflin Street. It’s a group effort.”
The Associated Students of Madison announced Monday the event will be called Revelry.
ASM Vice Chair Maria Giannopoulos said other names were debated, but Revelry was the name the deciding committee supported the most.
Giannopoulos said ASM had submitted a request to the City of Madison to shut down Randall Avenue during the event. This would allow students to move more freely around the Union South and Engineering Mall during the event, she said.
Rick Broughman, who represents the Mifflin West neighborhood, said in the meeting parties occurred all over Madison last year, not just on Mifflin Street.
“Last Mifflin party became like a whack-a-mole event,” Broughman said. “Parties were popping up all over the city.”
Donahue said MPD had to be more mobile during Mifflin last year, especially in the morning, because parties happened not only on Mifflin, but in surrounding neighborhoods and in the downtown area.
Donahue said MPD is unsure of the turnout Revelry will have. She said the department will be prepared for the Mifflin Street Block Party and all of the other parties that will happen.
“We don’t know how much of a draw the university’s party will be,” she said. “We don’t know how students will react to it.”
She said MPD will treat Revelry like a football Saturday and officers will police the Mifflin block party similarly to how it was last year. They will also work to get landlords on board with the police and put no trespassing signs on properties on Mifflin, she said.
“I’m excited for students to come together to provide a music festival for fellow students on a weekend traditionally know for partying,” he said.
Verveer said music has always been one of the features of the Mifflin event. He said in the last couple of years, especially last year, the police enforced the event so it is difficult for real music to be played.
In previous years multiple stages were set up on Mifflin Street performing music throughout the day and bands and DJs have performed on porches and backyards on Mifflin, he said.
“Police have taken a zero tolerance approach on music in the last years,” he said. “There were no permits issued last year or this year because the police see it as an illegal gathering.”
He said Revelry, on the other hand, would provide many different music options and has the budget to attract a nationally known act.