Bye-bye, Bisco, it's great to see you go
It’s neither surprising nor disappointing news that Camp Bisco, the rock festival staged at Duanesburg’s Indian Lookout Country Club for the past seven years, is apparently moving on to greener pastures in Saugerties. The festival had grown too big for the bucolic town’s relatively small britches in recent years, attracting upwards of 14,000 people last July. And despite the best-laid plans by town officials and festival promoters to address a host of problems, including traffic, noise, crowd control and health issues related to drug and alcohol abuse, too many of them persisted.
The handwriting had been on the wall since September, when Bisco’s promoters failed to fulfill a commitment to meet with town officials and assess the successes and failures of July’s show. Also due was a notarized statement from promoters, showing that fewer than 12,000 tickets had been sold, but the town never got it.
But even if promoters had met all these requirements, the town would have been justified in seeking a parting of the ways. The festival did benefit a handful of Duanesburg businesses — basically sellers of gas, food and sundries — and property owner Frank Potter, but for most residents, police and health care providers, it constituted a pretty big headache.
Potter has vowed to “do something else” on his property, which is fine, provided he complies with the law. That includes the need for a mass-gathering permit for crowds larger than 5,000. His 200-acre venue may hold more people than that comfortably, but getting them there and controlling them once they get there has been the problem.