All Points West organizers say they will restore trampled ground at Liberty State Park
by Carmen Juri/The Star-Ledger
Tuesday August 04, 2009, 7:00 PM
Trampled grass and a sea of mud remained at Liberty State Park in Jersey City after last weekend's All Points West festival, but organizers say they are committed to restoring the park .
"We pride ourselves on leaving the park in better condition than how we found it," said producer Ken Tesler of Liberty Events Management. "When there's damage like that, we fix it."
Mahala Gaylord/The Star-Ledger
The ground at the All Points West Music and Arts Festival in Jersey City on Sunday. The concert's organizers said they are committed to restoring the quality of the trampled ground at Liberty State Park.
Because of the weekend's heavy downpour, the three-day rock festival, jam-packed with high-profile bands as My Bloody Valentine and Coldplay as well as lesser-known indie groups, turned into a muddy mess. The mud, combined with heavy equipment and over 70,000 visitors, destroyed some areas of grass.
The tremendous amount of rain in a very short time did not give the field time to recover, said Tesler.
"This was insane. We had more rain in two days, between the set up and couple of days of the event, than we've seen in a very long time. This was not a normal situation, but it's not something we can't deal with."
Tesler said a team of site restoration experts are surveying the damage and plan to begin to add seedlings and fertilizer to the areas that need to be reseeded.
"With the amount of rain, you get to the point where the park can only soak up so much rain," he said. "There's always wear and tear but this time there was more than the average."
Prior to the event, Liberty Events placed a protective covering mat under the stage, which flattens grass but does not kill it.
"Even in places where there is mud, my understanding is that there's still grass underneath that," he said.
"In a matter of days, you won't know a stage was there," he said.
Sam Pesin, president of the Friends of Liberty State Park, said the festival produces revenue for both the park, which gets a percentage of sales, and the state of New Jersey, which earns tax dollars from beer sales. It's also a good way to draw the public to the park, which is one of his group's goals.
Producers are donating $2 per ticket to the Friends group, a nonprofit dedicated to improving Liberty State Park, Pesin said. Ticket prices were $89 apiece.
"I am confident that these producers are extremely responsible people and I'm sure they will do an excellent job," he said.
For Pesin, the festival was the 1969 Woodstock rock festival all over again.
"The mud at this festival reminded me of Woodstock. Both (festivals) had really good music and really good people enjoying The festivals do give people hope for the future," Pesin said. "When people get together to have a shared positive experience, it's a worthwhile experience."
See more in Entertainment, Hudson County, News