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Council Okays Weekend Music Festival

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – A controversy over this weekend's competing Allentown activities has been resolved. The Buffalo Common Council Tuesday reached a compromise with organizers of the Allentown Art Festival and approved plans to allow an adjoining music festival.

Organizers of the fledgling "Music As Art Festival" weren't exactly welcomed with open arms. Buffalo Native Robbie Takac of the Goo Goo Dolls thought it would be a great boost for the city to make the Allentown Art Festival even bigger and better. But the Allentown Village Society, the group that runs the successful art festival, say they have a formula that's works. And it didn't include music. But Buffalo Common Council member Dominic Bonifacio says a compromise reached Tuesday has restored harmony.

"It does change some of the locations for the art vendors and changes the Allentown area as far as their festival and still gives an opportunity for the music festival to go on," said Bonafacio. "I guess the president [of the Allentown Village Society] said she was all right with it. She's not happy. Hopefully, next year we can work out a better solution, we'll have more time to work on it."

Thirty-six bands are scheduled to perform inside and outside Takac's Chameleon Studios on Franklin. Art festival organizers learned of the plans only last week and had concerns over crowd control, security and noise for vendors.

Mark Hunt, chief engineer for Chameleon and a co-orgnaizer of the music festival, says their concerns were understandable. But Hunt says the controversy hasn't soured them on plans for their neighboring music festival.

"Not at all. I think if anything it's tried to push us to be even more positive about it, to make sure it goes on without any problems, or any hitches or anything," said Hunt.

Hunt says Takac would still like to see the "Music as Art Festival" become an annual entertainment and charity event -- sharing Allentown sidewalks with art festival visitors.