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Court Rejects Effort to Cancel Dunegrass Festival

2008-07-29 16:17:00

Court Rejects Effort to Cancel Dunegrass Festival

    EMPIRE, Mich., July 29 /EMWNews/ -- Today the Leelanau County

Circuit Court rejected a last-minute effort to cancel the Dunegrass music

festival scheduled to run for four days this weekend (July 31 & August 1-3)

in Empire, located on the shore of Lake Michigan in Leelanau County. Judge

Thomas Power ruled that the plaintiffs (Ann and Eric Arnold) failed to

prove that the harm that an injunction would cause to the Empire community,

festivalgoers, musicians and vendors far outweighs the potential harm

perceived by the plaintiffs.

    Claiming zoning violations and nuisance, the lawsuit sought to enjoin

the annual Sleeping Bear Dunegrass & Blues Festival held for the past 15

years in Empire. Prior to the suit being filed, Grassroots Productions had

entered into contracts for the 2008 festival with more than 50 national and

Michigan bands including well-know bluegrass performers Bela Fleck, Chris

Thile, Tony Rice, Peter Rowan, Railroad Earth and the Del McCoury Band.

This year's headliners include Arlo Guthrie, Richie Havens, and jam bands

Leftover Salmon, Particle, Buckethead and Moe.

    Lawyers for Dunegrass and the Village of Empire successfully contended

that the festival is a boon to the local economy and that the public

interest will be protected by conditions imposed in the Village's temporary

outdoor land use permit. "This is the busiest weekend of the year for my

two restaurants and many other Empire businesses; we are elated with the

Court's ruling and hope that many people will decide to come to the

Dunegrass festival this weekend," said Frank Lerchen of Empire.

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