Concert expansion approved

The KTIS 98.5 FM’s Joyful Noise Family Fest will add a Friday evening concert to its regular Saturday lineup for next June at the National Sports Center in Blaine.

The KTIS 98.5 FM’s Joyful Noise Family Fest has taken place on a Saturday at the National Sports Center for the first four years of its existence. The Blaine City Council approved the Christian radio station’s request to add a Friday evening concert. Next year’s event will be on June 7-8. File photo by Tim Hennagir

The KTIS 98.5 FM’s Joyful Noise Family Fest has taken place on a Saturday at the National Sports Center for the first four years of its existence. The Blaine City Council approved the Christian radio station’s request to add a Friday evening concert. Next year’s event will be on June 7-8. File photo by Tim Hennagir

The Blaine City Council Oct. 18 approved the additional evening as well as a policy for any concert at the National Sports Center, which includes rules such as alcohol cannot be served and concerts can begin no earlier than 10 a.m. and must end by 10:30 p.m.

Sam Cook, an operations and production manager for the Northwestern College Christian music radio station, said they want Joyful Noise to be an event for the entire family.

The organizers felt they already had great options for parents and young children, but wanted to do more to attract middle school, high school and college-age students to the event.

Therefore, the Saturday event will have the same format as the previous four years, but Friday night will have a Christian musical selection that will be more interesting to these teenagers and young adults, Cook said.

This does not mean parents and younger kids will not be allowed to come Friday night. In fact, Cook said they will be offering package deals to encourage whole families to attend both days.

Tickets will start going on sale on Black Friday, which is Friday, Nov. 23. Visit www.joyfulnoisefamilyfest.com to purchase advance tickets.

“Our philosophy is a family can walk in and have fun without draining their wallet and have a state fair experience,” Cook said.

The Friday evening concert on June 7, 2013 will be from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m., while the Saturday festivities on June 8, 2013 will go on from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

According to Cook, the city approved a maximum attendance of 10,000 for Friday evening and up to 20,000 for Saturday. The city previously capped Saturday’s attendance at 15,000.

Although a strong contingent comes from the Twin Cities metropolitan area, Cook said at least half of the people come from smaller towns in outstate Minnesota, western Wisconsin and even northern Iowa. KTIS heavily advertises through its radio station and social media.

The city of Blaine will not allow KTIS to set up any tailgating lots or overnight camping areas, so those driving far and attending both days will have to find another place to sleep Friday night whether that be in a hotel or with friends or family.

Cook said it will be interesting to look back at the numbers following the event to see what happens.

Neighbors not concerned

When Cook and another KTIS representative Dan Wynia came to the Sept. 13 council workshop to talk about their interest in having the Friday evening concert, some members of the council raised concerns about noise impact to the neighborhood.

Before signing off on an extra concert night, the council asked neighbors of the National Sports Center to give their opinions. The city set up a public hearing at the Oct. 18 council meeting and mailed out approximately 650 notices to property owners within a quarter-mile of the National Sports Center.

Nobody raised objections. One person who has attended spoke in support. Others let the council know they had no problem with the additional night.

Councilmember Mike Bourke said he went door knocking around the neighborhood and four people told him that he must support this.

According to Planning and Community Development Director Bryan Schafer, the concert set-up includes two stages. One smaller stage located outside the National Sports Center stadium would only be used Saturday afternoon. The larger stage inside the north end of the stadium would be positioned to direct sound to the south toward the city’s public works facility.

“I’ve always voted against these things, but given that the neighborhood has had a chance to comment and we have no negative comments I’ll support it,” Councilmember Dick Swanson said. “I’m still worried about the National Sports Center becoming an entertainment center rather than a sports center.”

Eric Hagen is at eric.hagen@ecm-inc.com


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