Borough President Melinda Katz has launched a pre-emptive strike against the city Parks Department and three entertainment giants that are seeking to use Flushing Meadows Corona Park for paid-admission music festivals this summer. Madison Square Garden, AEG Live and Founders Entertainment have all filed applications with the city to close off large portions of the park in order to stage events.
“Without a fair policy in place, I remain opposed to any applications from for-profit organizations to run paid-admission events in Flushing Meadows Corona Park,” Katz said. “The absence of a revised policy, including a set selection criteria and process approved by the community, renders the process arbitrary and unfair. Cutting off public access to our treasured parks flies in the face of the very principle behind our parks, which is space designated for public access and equity.”
The same three companies attempted to stage music festivals in Flushing Meadows Corona Park last summer, but their applications were denied after fierce opposition from Katz and numerous civic associations. Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver said he would explore new rule-making to create an appropriate framework for approving large-scale multi-day events in the park, including limits on the potential number, scale and nature of any such events so as not to have an unreasonable impact on the park and its users.
These new rules have not been established as the Parks Department reviews the applications. The city has until Dec. 19 to approve permits for the entertainment giants.