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Will the Music Festival Move?

Making noise in the heart of Del Ray.

One person’s treasure is another person’s frustration. 

Due to noise concerns, the City’s Special Events Committee is reviewing the Del Ray Music Festival. At this point, next year’s music festival will move from Colasanto Park to a less central (undetermined) location.

I live within close earshot of Colosanto Park, the green space adjacent to , where most major Del Ray events are held. From my home, I can hear everything from event music to the elementary school’s fire drills. I see these sounds as a part of our neighborhood soundtrack—a byproduct of being in the mix. 

As a mom of three children under the age of 4, having community events in a central location—surrounded by restaurants and playgrounds and easily accessed by foot—is critical to our participation. By having festivals in the heart of our business strip, visitors are encouraged to patron local restaurants and shops.

I love the events throughout the year that bring our community together to celebrate local art, music, food and business. There is something magical about sitting with neighbors and watching the kids run and dance as we wait for the Cinema Del Ray movie to begin. It is this community spirit that really makes Del Ray shine.     

My husband and I moved to Del Ray fully aware that we'd occasionally hear music or have local streets closed. We moved here so that we could be in the mix of a thriving community that is uniquely family friendly.  

Events like the music festival should be encouraged—and they should remain at the core of our community. Without them, we lose a big part of what makes Del Ray so special.

If you want to keep events such as the Del Ray Music Festival in a central and easily accessible location, let the city know.  Email Jack Browand (jack.browand@alexandriava.gov) and Cheryl Lawrence (Cheryl.lawrence@alexandriava.gov) of the Department of Parks and Recreation, who will address all comments through the city’s Special Events Committee. 

The committee will meet with the Del Ray Business Association to further discuss these issues in July.

How do you feel about events moving away from Colosanto Park? Tell us in the comments.

Kim Moore July 03, 2012 at 01:43 AM
Please do not hate local neighbors who complain about the noise. It may be that noise was too loud during the music festival. I live across from the Braddock Rd. fields. Some of the events there literally shook our windows. I am a huge supporter of events that showcase our neighborhood. Keeping the event in DelRay while turning down the sound just a little bit might make all of the difference. That agreement has worked well on the upper end of Mt. Vernon Ave.
Heidi Ficken July 03, 2012 at 10:46 PM
We live blocks away from the park and Mt. Vernon Ave. We take the good with the bad, during various events the noise gets loud and parking is more difficult. I wouldn't move, the good times (even at these same events) far outweigh the negatives. I am getting into this discussion a bit late. Is the noise all day too much for the neighbors or is it bothersome at night? The trash issue may be able to be addressed easily by volunteers that stay late to clean up.
Susana July 06, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Why would the loud complaints of the few drown out the positive, happy times this festival brings to the many! I lived in Fairfax County for 20+ years; then I moved to Del Ray. Why? Because of the neighborhood spirit - which is comprised of so many wonderful events, definitely including the music festival. Please don't systematically destroy what has taken quite a while to build. The Arts - visual & performing - form the basis of the transformation Del Ray has undergone over the last two decades. Use it as a model: don't pick it apart.
Sherrie Good July 13, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Elizabeth, I am not sure which festival you are referring to. It could NOT be the 2012 Del Ray Music Festival. I say this because my partner and myself worked several hours at the festival, diligently picking up trash with our trash grabbers. I know for a hard, cold FACT that we left the festival area much, much better than when we arrived. We even went over early, before 8:00, the next morning, and gave the park a good walkthrough to be sure we didn't leave any morsels of trash behind. We left that area much, much, much cleaner than it was when the festival arrived, and that is a cold, hard FACT.
Sherrie Good July 13, 2012 at 09:35 PM
It is ridiculous to move the festival from a wonderful site, easily accessed by all Del Ray citizens, to who knows where because 2 people complained! If one of them was Elizabeth W. that makes me extra mad, because she said the "the noise is intolerable, as well as the trash left by its followers." I know for a fact there was NO trash left at the festival, I know because my partner and myself picked it up with an eye for extreme detail. We even went back early the next morning to be sure no trash was left. If 3,000 people loved the festival and 2 complained, could we at least have a vote about if the festival should move or stay?

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