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The Badger Herald

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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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Business owners express concerns about Freakfest

Freakfest_LK
Joel Plant, assistant to Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, talks at a Freakfest meeting.[/media-credit]

Local downtown business owners voiced their concerns surrounding the logistics of this year’s Freakfest Wednesday at a meeting held by city staff.

One of the main concerns raised by various business owners was event attendees could try to avoid paying to enter State Street by sneaking through their businesses’ buildings. Many business owners in attendance said this has been a serious problem for the past two years.

Another concern raised was that blocking off traffic for the event would prevent their customers from being able to access their businesses.

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One attendee recalled how officials who had blocked off the street to set up the stage stopped her from accessing her parking spot last year.

Police and event officials promised something would be done about these problems this year.

“We want this to work for everybody,” Madison Police Department Capt. Mary Schauf said.

Executive Director of Madison’s Central Business Improvement District Mary Carbine said the BID is proud to be a part of Freakfest and hopes that the BID’s involvement will help remove some of the behavior that she sees as “a black eye” to the event.

Joel Plant, assistant to Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, told the business owners how excited he was that they wanted to be involved in the event. He characterized 2002 as “the worst year of Halloween” and recalled how many business owners did not want the event to continue. He feels the newer success of the event is due to the involvement of the BID and local businesses.

“It’s because of the engagement of you folks … that we’re able to make it work,” Plant said.

David Maynard of Frank Productions, the event-planning firm promoting Freakfest, presented the logistics of the event.

While the basic footprint of the event will be the same, there will be a few minor changes.

The event will begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31 and end at 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 1. Sunday at 2 a.m. is the beginning of daylight savings time, meaning the clock will revert back to 1 a.m. Regardless, the event will still end at 1:30 a.m. before taking daylight savings into account.

The main stage, which will be headlined by Third Eye Blind, Cage the Elephant and Push Play will be moved back toward the Capitol to allow more space for concertgoers.

The Gilman Street stage, which will feature Locksley, The Nod, Green Means Go and Sweet Grass, will be in the same place as last year.

The costume contest will be happening again this year, featuring prizes from STA Travel, American and the BID. The contest will take place at the DJ booth located next to Urban Outfitters.

The MPD will be making a few changes to which gates can be entered through, but the main change for them will be hanging clearer signs so people are not confused by the entrance system, Schauf said.

After the event is over, Budweiser has donated money for free taxi rides for event attendees, according to Maynard. More details about this will be announced over the next couple of weeks.

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