Neighbors voice concerns at town hall on Middlelands Music Festival

Residents in Todd Mission, Texas voiced their concerns at a meeting Thursday night about the Middlelands Music Festival that took place two weeks ago.

TOOD MISSION, Texas - The Middlelands Music Festival happened nearly two weeks ago but on Thursday night nearby neighbors, who say they suffered through it, are still fired up. 

The festival was held over three days on the grounds of the Texas Renaissance Festival.

Neighbors were scheduled to meet Thursday at Magnolia City Hall with organizers of Middlelands, Insomniac, but the meeting was cancelled last minute.

The Texas Renaissance Festival wanted to cancel Thursday's town hall altogether, but residents didn't leave.

The festival advertised itself as an adventure for the ages, but most people in the rural community say it was a different kind of adventure for them.

"It was a nightmare," said Beverly Welch-Steadman, who lives very close the grounds. "When I called Saturday and they said it was going to go on Sunday I said I'm just going to kill myself."

Others, like Harry Callicotte, didn't have any issues. 

"We thought we saw a lot of good, responsible young people having fun," he said. "We don't down the rodeo just because wagon trains clog up the traffic. We work it out and deal with it. This is a first year event and I'm sure there will be adjustments, that they'll take into account all the concerns."

Reportedly 66,000 people showed up over the course of the festival and Texas Ren Fest officials say all area hotels were booked for weeks in advance. 

There is no word yet on whether or not the festival will return to the grounds of the Texas Renaissance Festival next year.

Ren Fest officials say a meeting with Insomniac and the community will happen at a later date.

Pasquale Rotella, fFounder and CEO of Insomniac, released the following statement:

“We were very surprised and disappointed by the decision announced by the Texas Renaissance Festival (TRF) to no longer host Middlelands (MDL) at the Texas Renaissance Festival Fair Grounds. From the beginning, MDL producers set out to create a safe and enjoyable experience for both attendees and residents in the surrounding neighborhoods, with hopes to stimulate the growing local economy. Contrary to news reports, the producers of MDL traveled to Houston for the Town Hall meeting but were subsequently told it was cancelled by TRF officials. We fully appreciate the beauty of Todd Mission and the nearby areas, and were prepared to implement residents’ feedback in order to transform MDL into a valued community event. An astounding 66,000 guests attended the inaugural MDL festival, with many sharing their positive experiences. To our fans, rest assured we plan to return.”

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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