NORRIDGEWOCK — Town officials plan to meet with organizers of the Great North Music Festival on Wednesday night to discuss details of a decades-old mass-gathering ordinance that was brought back to life last year when the festival brought more than 3,000 people to a 400-acre farm on Red Barn Road.

In addition to some noise complaints, the town had concerns about traffic flow and access for public works crews and the Fire Department on the road during the festival last fall, said Town Manager Michelle Flewelling.

“We’ve been trying to get together sort of a debriefing to discuss what in the ordinance works and what didn’t,” Flewelling said. “I believe they’ll be looking to do another event again this fall, so it’s really a matter of talking about what worked, what didn’t and making sure the ordinance is doing what it’s meant to.”

Selectmen will meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Town Office and have invited the Planning Board, organizers of the festival and Tim Rogers, the property owner where the festival has been held the last two years, to be part of the discussion.

The Great North Music Festival started at Last Breath Farm in 2013 and drew about 1,500 people over three days. Last year the festival attracted 3,800, according to Chris Cote, a promoter of the festival. He said the event is scheduled for Labor Day weekend this year and that ticket sales will be capped at 5,000.

“We’ve actually prepared a whole portfolio on our experience going through the rigmarole of getting everything prepared and the execution and breakdown so we can get a bit more synergy with the town,” Cote said.

Cote said he had no specific concerns about the permitting process, but thought it could be streamlined better to avoid redundancy in state and local ordinance requirements.

“Aside from that, the town was incredibly helpful in facilitating us last year, as I assume they will be this year as well,” Cote said.

The mass gathering ordinance was adopted in the 1990s but was never used until last year, Flewelling said.

It requires that a permit be filed with the town Planning Board for any gathering of more than 1,000 people and has requirements for site maps, proposed toilets, water supply sources, parking and how to provide medical services among other things. It also stipulates that the applicant notify abutting property owners and that the Planning Board hold a public hearing on the application.

“There’s just various different things that we think could be better, things we could do on our end that maybe would make it easier for the entertainer or things that maybe nobody thought of, like anticipation for spillover,” she said.

One concern that the town had last year was traffic flow and the blockage of the road to public works crews, Flewelling said.

“If you think about it, if the event ends at 11 p.m., they still need the whole next day to clean up. We had some big problems with getting through up there. At one point in time, the public works truck couldn’t get through, which led us to have some pretty severe concerns about what would have happened if it was a firetruck, and that sort of thing,” she said.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm

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