By Kathryn Reed
Music festivals in the Stateline casino corridor are the norm throughout the summer. Now one of the promoters wants to bring them across the state line to South Lake Tahoe.
Paul Reder, founder and principal of PR Entertainment, gave a presentation Jan. 17 to the South Lake Tahoe City Council about his desire to put on concerts at the same field the three-day December SnowGlobe music festival uses.
Reder, who also owns The Loft in the city, has been in the entertainment industry for more than 30 years. He has staged shows in Stateline, North Shore, Truckee and Reno.
The main reasons to move the reggae, bluegrass and electronic music festivals are to be in a bigger space and at a venue with grass.
A festival on asphalt is not ideal – which is what happens at Hard Rock and MontBleu casinos because the events are in the parking lot. Attendees are standing or sitting on that hard surface. Even though 10,000-square-feet of turf was laid at Hard Rock last year, it wasn’t ideal, according to Reder.
While SnowGlobe was at a new location last month, the area was all dirt. The city opted to hold off on putting in the sod until this spring, after SnowGlobe. Chad Donnelly, promotor of SnowGlobe, has a contract for 2017 contingent upon inspection of the field after the snow melts.
City Attorney Tom Watson told Lake Tahoe News that even though there was no field per se in December, ruts in the dirt and potential debris found after the snow melts would be a concern, while at the same time if the ground looks as good as it did before the event, then Donnelly will have met his obligation.
That field is a community ball field, with the main purpose being for sports as soon as the grass is put in. Keeping it playable will be a requirement no matter what takes place on it outside of athletics.
Even though the concerts are a day or two, set up and break down would take the field out of commission for a few other days.
While the topic about Reder’s summer concerts was not an action item Tuesday, council members voiced comments about Reder’s desires. What the impact to the field will be, making sure the sports community would not be adversely affected, and noise were some the concerns brought up.
The council agreed to put the topic on a future agenda. However, timing is important because Reder needs to get contracts signed with the music acts, as well as market the events. He is looking at a one-day reggae festival and having the two-day electronic music fest to start with.
There is only one council meeting in February. Reder would need a decision by March. He would also need approval from Lake Tahoe Community College’s board.
After the meeting, Reder told Lake Tahoe News, “I’m looking at this as more of a future possibility. But we plan on keeping the festivals at Stateline until the right opportunity comes around on those grass fields or other grass areas on the South Shore.”
Reder said the noise level has not been an issue at his concerts, and added that he would be willing to work with the city to make sure his concerts don’t disturb neighbors. The Base Camp Festival is electronic music, just like SnowGlobe. City Manager Nancy Kerry said she intends to recommend the maximum decibel level for SnowGlobe be lowered when there is no snow on the ground to absorb the sound.
If the council does not green light Reder to bring his concerts to the city for this year, he is not taking the events out of the area.
“We are also talking to the Hard Rock about the possibility of building a larger grass field in their parking lot very similar to MontBleu and keeping it there all summer. If Hard Rock can build that kind of infrastructure, then we will keep the festivals there indefinitely,” Reder told Lake Tahoe News.