Plano to continue annual music festival tradition despite obstacle

Live Nation has chosen to opt out of a contract with the city to produce the annual Suburbia Music Festival that brought in about $127,000 in visitor's economic impact and 20,000 participants to Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve last May.

City Manager Bruce Glasscock addressed City Council in its preliminary open meeting Nov. 24 to discuss plans in moving forward with the music festival. Glasscock said that in talking to Live Nation and the CEO, the company felt that it "took a good shot at it, but the economics just didn't pan out for them to keep moving forward, which was very disappointing." With Live Nation's exit from the agreement, the Suburbia name was also taken.

Glasscock said the city has budgeted $125,000 for a 2015 music festival event and Amy Fortenberry, director of parks and recreation, said staff is in the process of making improvements to Oak Point Park to make the location an even more attractive venue.

Councilman David Downs said the music festival is worth pursuing.

"I think we've kick started something, and we need to commit to it and keep moving forward. I think there's an opportunity there to build something we'd envisioned. With or without Suburbia, I think we can do it."

After discussion, council members made the decision to move forward with the festival. Glasscock said city staff will send out requests for proposals to a variety of firms with large-scale music event experience. Staff will then review the proposals, determine the best fit and bring the proposal back to City Council for final approval.

"While we are disappointed Live Nation decided not to take this journey with us, we are extremely optimistic we will find a great partner to continue producing a world class music festival," Fortenberry said.