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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