Nelson County, VA
Lockn’ 2013 is in the history books and now the discussion has been brewing about the pros and cons of having another festival in 2014. This past Tuesday night several residents and business owners addressed the Nelson Board of Supervisors. BRLM’s Marcie Gates attended the meeting and live tweeted much of the discussion on our Twitter page. Some echoed support and gratitude for the first Lockn’ festival held in Nelson, others weren’t as happy about their 4 day experience. “It was a difficult time for us to maneuver our trailers in and out with the roads being blocked off. And we couldn’t accept deliveries some of those days,” said Joanie Saunders, co-owner of Saunders Landscapes located on Freshwater Cove directly west of the entrance to Oak Ridge where Lockn’ was held.
Several other residents and business owners spoke over a roughly 40 minute period at the Tuesday meeting in favor or opposition to the festival.
Our BRLM poll above shows a near 24% margin of support for the return of the festival, as of figures compiled on Wednesday evening September 11, 2013. The online poll runs thorough Friday afternoon of this week. The poll is not scientific, but is a general trend of sentiments about the festival. The comments section on that poll page is very, very active with almost 50 different views about the festival as of Wednesday evening.
The Lockn’ organization along with Nelson County Tourism officials released the follow press release Wednesday night regarding their data on the impact. We have copied and pasted the release verbatim below:
Verbatim Press release via Lockn’ Organization:
LOCKN’ ATTENDED BY 25,000, TAX REVENUE APPROXIMATELY $1.6 MILLION
Charlottesville, Virginia, September 11, 2013
Lockn’ Music Festival organizers and Nelson County representatives released raw numbers today regarding the inaugural four-day music festival held at The Oak Ridge Farm in Nelson County.
The Commissioner of the Revenue for Nelson County says early numbers place tax revenue to be received by the County at approximately 1.6 million dollars, with 53% of ticket sales from outside of Virginia.
The Nelson County Department of Economic Development and Tourism reported increased sales for grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations, hotels and bed & breakfasts in the immediate area; the block of condominiums for lodging packages at Wintergreen Resort sold out quickly.
From early accounts the area breweries, wineries, and food vendors that participated in Lockn’s LOCAL Tent (solely featuring fare from Central Virginia), would happily participate again should Lockn’ return in 2014. Todd Rath, owner of The Blue Toad in Nelson County, said, “the event was well run and provided invaluable exposure for my small business, we crushed it.”
HeadCount organized Participation Row, the group of local, regional and national non-profits on site at the festival, and raised $50,000 through silent auction to be divided among the non-profit participants. This includes $20,000 raised from a guitar signed by the performing artists that was showcased throughout the four days. FATE donated $5,000 to the Nelson County Pantry, and Conscious Alliance collected 1,500 pounds of food for the Pantry.
EMTs, the Sheriff’s Department, and on-site security were pleased to report there were very few medical incidents or illegal activity during the festival. Nelson County Sheriff David Brooks said, “The Festival went very well with little to no problems, we support the event 100% and look forward to next year.”
Festival organizers are scheduled to meet with County Supervisors.