Street Scene at the Del Mar Fairgrounds is not a done deal yet. On May 8, the fairgrounds board was expected to vote on whether the event would be held there in late September.
Fairgrounds CEO and general manager Tim Fennell said at the meeting that "...there are still minor details to be worked out" with Live Nation, the nationwide promoter that took over Street Scene from founder Rob Hagey last month. (Hagey did not attend the meeting.) Fennell said he expected a contract to be ready for the board's review when the next meeting convenes on June 5.
At last week's meeting, the eight people who spoke did not favor the staging of the concert in Del Mar; they cited drug use, vomiting, injuries, teenage drinking, and vendors that sell drug paraphernalia and vulgar T-shirts.
Fennell responded by saying that Hagey was out of the picture and that Street Scene was now in different hands.
Those who spoke said they represented groups such as the Tri-City Prevention Collaborative and the San Dieguito Alliance for Drug-Free Youth.
Aaron Byzak, a former ambulance tech, claimed Street Scene could become another Club Velvet, which was a weekly dance event at the fairgrounds until it was canceled in 2001 because of drug-use issues.
"We won't just turn the facility over to the promoter and say, 'Here's the keys. Turn the lights out when you leave,' " said Fennell.
Fairgrounds administration may mandate that Street Scene be limited to patrons of legal drinking age. (Promoters not connected with Street Scene say it would be difficult to make Street Scene profitable if minors are excluded.)
Fennell said he expected a Street Scene held in Del Mar would likely cater to older audiences and that Live Nation will bring the entertainment lineup "up a notch or two.... We will not be booking bands that might have been booked in prior years." Fennell said he's prepared to exclude any artists that are deemed unacceptable by the board.
Boardmember Doug Barnhart said he would vote against the proposal when the time came.
Because Live Nation announced that the event would be moved to Del Mar and insiders say the company has begun to book acts, what happens if Live Nation contracts with talent that is rejected by the board? Could Live Nation sue the Del Mar Fairgrounds?
Fennell said he expected that Live Nation would be booking artists on a contingency basis.
Live Nation spokesman Greg Terlizzi declined to comment.
Insiders say the Street Scene lineup would likely include the Smashing Pumpkins and Muse.