Security for BerkshireStock still uncertain
LENOX -- Security ar rangements for this weekend's two-day BerkshireStock outdoor rock festival at Eastover Resort remained uncertain Thursday evening after multiple efforts to hire private agencies fell through.
The third company offered the assignment, Metropolitan Security based in Quincy, declined to sign a contract, said Paul Perry, president and owner.
In addition, a planned two-man detail from Lee Police has been canceled. Lenox Police Chief Stephen O'Brien and Lee Police Chief Joseph Buffis determined that the Eastover event may be "an unsafe environment for police," according to O'Brien.
"For any situation, two officers wouldn't be enough to handle what Eastover is ex pecting," said O'Brien.
"The security plan is lacking, as far as I can tell," he said. "We would have to use mutual aid. I'm guessing 30 police officers would be needed, but they should still have private security."
O'Brien acknowledged that the event "would be problematical if they don't have a substantial security plan."
Buffis agreed: "It would be inappropriate and unsafe to have a couple of officers. We would need much more of a presence."
Asked whether it would be safe to stage the festival, Buffis said, "For the security of patrons, it would be prudent to have some trained personnel on site. For an event of this size, it would have been nice to have been in on the planning stages at the ground floor to come up with a plan that was doable and affordable."
As Perry explained it, Metropolitan Security was in contract negotiations with Eastover, but "after I educated myself on the size of the event, we suggested they hire state police patrols. We don't handle something like this; we're not comfortable with it and we think it's a law-enforcement matter."
Noting that BerkshireStock has styled itself as a miniature version of the Woodstock Festival held in Bethel, N.Y., in 1969, Perry said that "when you look it up and realize what you're getting into, it becomes a liability factor. When Eastover first called, they pitched it as some kind of beach party."
Earlier in the week, National Security Services declined to provide patrols, as did Shepherd Security in Springfield.
Although Eastover co-owner Yingxing Wang and other employes have stated that the Berkshire County Sheriff's Office would be on the site, Maj. Thomas Grady said on Thursday, "We have not been contacted by anybody connected with Eastover."
Despite the uncertainty surrounding security, managers and crews were scrambling on Thursday to pull together final details and logistics for the festival that would host about 40 local and regional bands on an outdoor stage and in the renovated Tally Ho Pub.
The main stage music acts are slated from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, with additional bands in the Tally Ho Pub until 12:30 a.m. On Sunday, the event runs from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Gates to the resort at 430 East St. were scheduled to open at 8 a.m. both days. Two-day tickets at $50 include overnight camping, but one-day admission for $35 either Saturday or Sunday also is being offered.
Eastover Office Manager Donna Zsoska said the bands have sold or distributed free as many as 800 tickets to friends and family members. A tally of other ticket sales was unavailable.
Although the resort has an all-alcohol license, only beer will be sold outdoors from several trucks provided by Budweiser, an event sponsor. Beer and wine also will be available for purchase at the Tally Ho pub. In addition to food sold by Eastover in the Heritage Room, outside vendors include That's a Wrap, Krispy Kone, Lucia's Latin Kitchen and Domino's Pizza, Zsoska said.
The rented outdoor stage provided by Image Production Services of Worcester was to be installed on Friday. Overhead lighting for the parking lots also was in the works, Eastover project manager Kenneth MacAlpine said, and at least 40 portable toilets are due on the grounds.
To reach Clarence Fanto:
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On Twitter: @BE_cfanto
Band lineup ...
Here is the final schedule for BerkshireStock in Lenox this weekend. Stage 1 is outdoors in the natural amphitheater. Stage 2 is in the Tally-Ho Pub.
9-9:30 a.m.: Left Hand Blues
10:20-11:20 a.m.: Renno
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Sludge Factory
12:40-1:30 p.m.: Mass All Day
1:45-2:45 p.m.: Kerry Moseley
3-4 p.m.: Deafened by Love
4:15-5 p.m.: Whiskey City
5:15-7:15 p.m.: Back-n-Black
8-9 p.m.: Sugar Red Drive
9:15-10:30 p.m.: White Trash
9:40-10:10 a.m.: The Light of Drowning
10:20-10:50 a.m.: Cover Me
11-11:30 a.m.: Mountain Breeze
11:40 a.m.-12:10 p.m.: Conflict of Interest
12:20-1 p.m.: T-Bone Daddy
1:15-2 p.m.: Fallen Starletts
2:15-3 p.m.: Dysfunction
3:15-4 p.m.: On the Fly
4:15-5 p.m.: Triple XXX
5:15-6 p.m.: A Fate Forgotten
6:15-7 p.m.: Kardia
8-10:15 p.m.: Open Mic
10:30 p.m.:-12:30 a.m.: Static
8:30-10:10 a.m.: Toolfist
10:20-11:30 a.m.: The Mushroom Cloud
11:40 a.m.-12:10 p.m.: Ghost of Vigoda
12:20-1 p.m.: Exo Vox
1:15-2 p.m.: The Matchstick Architects
2:15-3 p.m.: The Arthur Holmes Blues Band
4-4:45 p.m.: Disquiet
5-6 p.m.: Hixx
6:15-7:15 p.m.: Clover
7:30-9 p.m.: Stairwell Sea
10:20-10:50 a.m.: Engine Judy
11:40 a.m.-12:10 p.m.: Blue Light Trio
12:20-1 p.m.: For No One
1:15-3 p.m.; 4-6 p.m: Berkshire Rocks
6:15-7:15 p.m.: Sifer
7:30-9 p.m.: Street Light Circus
Source: Eastover Resort. Listings as of Thursday.
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