Deschutes County commissioners should not pull the plug on the 4 Peaks Music Festival. As long as it is complying with regulations, it should again receive a permit for the festival on D.M. Stevenson Ranch, located off Knott Road.
When 2,500 people show up for three days and three nights of a music festival, the neighbors are going to notice — even if it is on 150 acres. Some neighbors complained to the commissioners on Monday about the festival’s permit renewal, according to a story from The Bulletin’s Scott Hammers.
One neighbor claimed the bands played past the permitted 10 p.m. cutoff. She heard people partying long into the night. Her family’s pet rabbits and turkeys were stressed. She was concerned about a buried natural gas pipeline. Another neighbor was more worried about fire danger and security. He also said the festival drove off wildlife.
Those are all concerns — to one degree or another. But without specific evidence that the festival did something illegal or plans to do something illegal at next year’s festival — June 21-24 — the permit should be granted again.
The festival has included a mix of music from bluegrass to funk. It’s on a grassy area with mountain views. People camp and hole up in RVs. But no matter how nice that all may sound or what the festival organizers do, organizers must realize that they are likely creating three difficult days and nights for their neighbors.
A permit to hold a music festival is not a blank check. The festival’s organizers should do what’s reasonable to mitigate its impact. If reorienting the stage, marking the festival area more clearly, hiring more security and even reminding festival goers about the neighbors would help the relationship with neighbors, the organizers should do it.