Music from Barlow Plaza concert didn't bother neighbors
Just as neighbors expected, music from the first outdoor concert at the Barlow Plaza Event Center drifted across Civic Center Drive and into their neighborhood Wednesday night.
Some residents spoke against plans for the outdoor concerts during a Rochester City Council meeting in May. But the noise wasn't a problem for residents of 4 1/2 Street Northwest who were out and about as the headlining band Chester Bay took the stage at 8 p.m.
Elizabeth Callier's 10-month-old daughter was sleeping inside where the music couldn't be heard at all, she said.
"We walked over there for dinner, and we enjoyed the show," Callier said. "It's closer than Down by the Riverside."
A group of about 10 people sitting in front of their townhouse said they hadn't noticed the music because they were talking and had a radio on.
Justin Storie, who lives in the neighborhood and also works at the Army Recruiting Station at Barlow Plaza, didn't mind the concert. "It's one thing if it goes past 10 p.m., but it's supposed to be over at 10 p.m. I don't see that as an issue, especially since it's summer and the kids don't have school tomorrow."
Down the street, Nichole Thompson said the concert was "no different than what those people do every day," referring to her neighbors. "It just adds to the problem."
Many people set up lawn chairs in the parking lot for the free concert, including Cody Lindquist, 28, of Rochester. He and his friend said they liked the outdoor venue, but expected a bigger crowd.
"These guys have a lot of followers," Lindquist said of Chester Bay, and said more people might go if it wasn't in a grocery store parking lot.
There to see Chester Bay for the first time was Noelle Bellows, 17, of Rochester, who said that she liked that it was open to all ages, and "it's a cool set-up with the vendors."
There with family members visiting from Delaware, Laurie and Craig Kellagher of Rochester were happy to have the new venue.
"It's family friendly. I like that there's people of all ages," Craig Kellagher said.
The Barlow Plaza Event Center facility also was open so people could see the new space and use the restroom, which Laurie said she liked.
"We'll come back," she said. Upcoming outdoor concerts include Paul Cebar on Aug. 19 and Incognito on Sept. 23.
Although there were some setbacks, such as the concert being postponed twice because of weather and not getting the 60-foot-long bar set up for the first concert, Nicole Hovick, who does marketing for Barlow Plaza events, said that "I'm excited. This is just the start of what we're doing."
Next month there will be weekly events inside the event center, including a "Search for the Northern Star" singing competition on Wednesdays and Sunday brunches by Johnny Mango with live music.
"We're here to encourage talent, give these musicians a place to play and help them develop a following," said Steve Barlow, who owns the shopping mall. "And people like it because there's good music, good food and a safe, funky environment."