Jazz in the Park To Ban Carry-Ins
In a stunning announcement today, OMC reports that Jazz in the Park will no longer allow carry-ins of alcohol. The event which is run by East Town Association at Cathedral Square Park is a popular event for a large number of Milwaukeeans every Thursday night from June until the end of September. The article states that the Milwaukee Police Department and a Wisconsin law are the reasons for the shut down. We’re wondering if the changes are related to finances and not the law.
The event is free to attend and has an interesting revenue model. As I have been led to believe by a board member, Bastille Days the French heritage festival held annually in July actually generates a substantial amount of the revenue that allows Jazz in the Park to operate. Furthermore, and I last discussed this issue in 2006, there was looming concerns that the rainy day fund accumulated by the East Town Association was running low. I don’t know whether any of that is still true at this point, but let’s assume it is for the sake of debate.
Another option for East Town may be to charge admission to the event. Could East Town also sell reserved spaces for the event (my group puts our blanket out at noon)?
What about a mix of value-added services included valet parking, a reserved space on the grass, and a food and drink package?
How about not allowing carry-ins, but allowing all businesses with liquor licenses within distance X (say 2 miles) to sell alcohol on the premises (helping Metro Market and upstart Blatz Liquor significantly, along with Taylors and company)?
Is there a way to generate more parking revenue? MSOE currently sells parking to benefit their athletics program.
What would you do? We would love if it you would post a comment with your idea(s). Also feel free to email your alderman to share your idea or just to lend your support for Jazz in the Park as it has been in years past.