Commissioners Discuss Emerald Meadows

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EUGENE, Ore. — The terminated Kaleidoscope Music Festival prompted more than two hours of public comment during Tuesday’s Lane County Board of Commissioners meeting. More than 40 people signed up to speak during public comment, most of which revolved around why the Kaleidoscope Music Festival should get a second chance.

Lane County may have terminated the music festival’s contract, but the fight wasn’t over yet.

“Festivals in other rural areas like Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tennessee and Coachella near farms in Indio, California, these events started off with challenges. But these two festivals, and dozens like them across the United States, were given the opportunity to grow and work through early concerns and now pay off huge for the localities,” said Jason Lear, Kaleidoscope Director.

“Nobody lives closer to the event center than my wife and I and we raised our family there for the past 40 years. No event should be able to enter the privacy of our home with wall-shaking music,” said Eugene resident Jim Evonuk.

A majority of the speakers were Kaleidoscope supporters. While there were the few opponents, it wasn’t just Kaleidoscope they were against, it was the bigger picture the board would be discussing.

“Let’s just kind of separate this out and not focus in on Kaleidoscope, but we’re going to have this conversation with staff about Emerald Meadows and I think we heard loud and clear that there may be some opportunities for Kaleidoscope, but I think the big question is whether or not it will be at Emerald Meadows or not,” said commissioner Sid Leiken.

“I hope that the voice of the 20,000 attendees is heard when considering the allowance of three days for a music festival and 362 for silence and solitude,” said Mahala Ray, Kaleidoscope Sustainability Director.

While commissioners say they do hear them, whether that will change things now is still to be determined.

The board decided it needed to put together a focused task force to develop criteria and review new events at Emerald Meadows. It was mentioned, that Kaleidoscope Music Festival organizers could reapply for venue use once those new guidelines are formulated.

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