After event, it's unclear if BerkshireStock will rock county again
LENOX -- Following a lightly attended but mostly trouble-free outdoor rock festival at the Eastover Resort over the weekend, plans for a repeat performance of Berkshire Stock next year remained uncertain on Monday.
"No comment on anything," said resort co-owner Yingxing Wang.
According to the professional security chief hired for the event, "they're entertaining the idea of doing it next year but being better organized in advance."
"Everything went very well," said Michael Drolet, the field operations supervisor for MJ Norton Security Inc. of Chicopee. The agency assigned a staff of 10 for the entire weekend.
No official crowd count was available, but Drolet estimated that about 400 concertgoers attended at some point during the weekend. Admission was free as of Sunday afternoon; one-day tickets had been advertised at $35 apiece.
"It would be a great thing to try it again with more and better planning," Drolet added.
The event was publicized on traditional, online and social media platforms. But on Friday morning, with no professional security plan in place, Town Manager Gregory Federspiel notified Wang that the event might face cancellation. Later in the day, MJ Norton was hired and Eastover agreed to a town-proposed attendance cap of 800.
Michael Sayers, the Stockbridge-based promoter who came up with the concept and hired the bands, did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.
Despite the sparse turnout, two members of T-Bone Daddy, a blues band, voiced favorable reactions.
"We had a blast, a great time," said Tyler Fairbank, lead singer, guitarist and founder of the group. "It was the perfect venue, with first-rate stage and sound systems that were set up perfectly. Although it was very lightly attended, the people there were having a great time."
Fairbank suggested that events such as BerkshireStock need time to spread the word and iron out bugs while improving promotion and logistics.
According to Lou Parreault, drummer and singer for T-Bone Daddy, "Eastover is a beautiful property. Michael Sayers did a great job. And everyone I talked to enjoyed it."
"We hope this becomes an event you can look forward to every year in the Berkshires," said Parreault. "People at Eastover put a lot of time and money into getting this ready, and there was plenty of very friendly security."
Two incidents Saturday night prompted the security team to call in local police.
Two Lenox officers, Sean Ward and Michael Smith, backed up by three Lee officers, responded to an 8:27 p.m. call and arrested William H. Cummings, 42, of Pecks Road, Pittsfield, for disorderly conduct after he threatened people and refused MJ Norton's and Lenox police's requests to leave the property, police said.
He was released on personal recognizance for a Thursday appearance at Southern Berkshire District Court on the misdemeanor charge.
Later Saturday evening, Aaron Winchell, 40, a Boston resident, was arrested for threatening an Eastover guest and her two children, ages 11 and 9. He faces a misdemeanor count of disturbing the peace at the court next Monday.
"I'm glad they hired a professional security company," said Lenox Police Chief Stephen O'Brien. "I was impressed with MJ Norton. I think the firm saved the day. I'm sure the people who went had a good time."
There were no traffic issues or noise complaints from nearby residents, he added.
"If this event is happening next year, planning for it should begin today," said the police chief.
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