Music festival scrapped for private party

Diana Flynn Photo Credit: The Westfield News

SOUTHWICK, Mass. (The Westfield News) – Mort Vining Road resident Diana Flynn withdrew her request to host a music festival on her farm and instead plans to host a private party of the same size.

Flynn approached the Southwick Board of Selectmen last week about permits for the event planned for Oct. 3. Flynn said last week that the event started out as a party at a friend’s home in Otis and she was taking over and making it public.

Flynn planned to sell up to 250 tickets, which she said would be purchased mainly by friends and family. The Board told Flynn there were several concerns and Flynn was told she would have to pay police for traffic control, have an EMT at the overnight event, and would need electrical inspections, among other requirements.

Flynn met with the Board last night and said she decided to keep it a private event because of costs.

“We’re just going to apply for whatever we have to for a private party and look at the spring (for a festival,”) Flynn said.

Chief Administrative Officer Karl Stinehart said there were no permits required for a private function. He said it would be like having a wedding on the farm.

Selectman Douglas Moglin said he had no issue with a private party with live bands as long as it was “manageable.”

Flynn said she expected up to 200 people, including guests camping overnight, and she would accept donations but not charge admission.

Several of Flynn’s neighbors spoke out and one said she was concerned about the number of people coming.

“We’re just concerned because 250 people sounds like a lot, and what if more than that show up,” she said. “We’re on the same road and we pay high taxes and we don’t expect to have traffic like that.”

Flynn reminded everyone that her property is 63 acres and the guests would mainly be friends and she did not anticipate any concerns.

Board Chairman Joseph Deedy assured the neighbors their concerns were heard.

“We will all be watching,” he said.

One neighbor – Ryan Pease – spoke in favor of the party and a festival. “I also live on Mort Vining Road and would love for you to have a music festival,” he said.

Flynn said following her party she would possibly pursue a festival in spring and work with the town on the required permits and concerns.

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