Promoter plans new dance pitch
Organizer will ask city council for permit Monday
By Janice Gregorson
A local promoter will make another appeal Monday to the Rochester City Council for permission to have an all-night dance for young adults at Graham Arena.
Bill Bump said this morning he has been working to address concerns raised by police and will return to the council with a new request.
Last week, the council voted unanimously to revoke two dance permits issued to Bump. Council members voiced concerns that authorities had been misled into thinking the dances were for teen-agers and were to raise money for a local charity.
Police Chief Roger Peterson said police believed the event was going to be a rave that could attract thousands of young people and involve drugs. Bump adamantly maintains the dances would be drug-free.
Council members urged Bump to meet with police to try to resolve the concerns.
Bump met with police officials Wednesday and another meeting was set for today.
Capt. Jim Pittenger said police outlined concerns about safety issues and the intent of the event. Pittenger said that if thousands of people attend the dance, there is a need for security officers inside and outside building and paramedics in event of emergencies.
Bump said he plans to have 10 to 15 officers, 12 to 20 event employees and two paramedics on duty.
"I just want to make everyone comfortable,'' Bump said.
The event would still be at Graham Arena. Bump said he believes the arena could safely accommodate 1,000 to 2,000 people.
Originally, Bump obtained permits to conduct dances on April 6 and April 20. While both permits were revoked, the April 20 event, called Super Skunk 4:20, is still advertised on the organization's Web site.
Police expressed concern over the alleged symbolism of 4:20, which is a time linked to the use of marijuana, Hitler's birthday and the anniversary of the Columbine shootings. Also, Super Skunk is the name of a variety of greenhouse-grown marijuana.
But Bump said it is simply the day of the party, and stressed that the event is "not in any way, shape or form" about anything else.
There also is a notice saying the city council revoked the permit for the April 6 event.
"Through the extreme pressure applied by the police department, the city council decided to revoke the permits and keep the event from taking place,'' the notice said.
The notice said promoters made every attempt to work with police and the city to make the event happen, but "They just did not want this event to take place."