Proposed West Creek concert series scrapped after hearing

EventMakers-USA Inc. currently hosts the concerts at 4901 Lake Brook Drive within Innsbrook. (Innsbrook After Hours)

A promoter of live music is pulling the plug on its plan to move a summer concert series from a Henrico office park to Goochland.

During a Goochland County Board of Supervisors meeting that went until 2 a.m. Wednesday, EventMakers-USA Inc., which puts on the Innsbrook After Hours concert series in Henrico, withdrew its application for a conditional-use permit (CUP) to move the series – minus the Innsbrook name – to Goochland’s West Creek Business Park.

The board, which began a public hearing on the item around midnight, heard from 15 to 20 people in opposition to the potential concert venue, including Henrico County Supervisor Patricia O’Bannon of that county’s nearby Tuckahoe District.

Goochland supervisors took no action since the request was withdrawn.

EventMakers earlier this year began the process of potentially moving the series to West Creek after three decades in its namesake office park at 4901 Lake Brook Drive. The group zeroed in on a 5-acre site at 12575 W. Creek Parkway near the Richmond Strikers field complex.

The series’ current venue. (BizSense file photo)

The group in July filed an initial pre-application, which required it to conduct several reviews and studies, including a sound test that month at the proposed site.

Results of the sound test were mixed, with some volunteers reporting the music in their area as being “loud and annoying” or “barely audible”. According to a staff report, Goochland officials also were concerned about traffic, parking and safety, specifically the Goochland Sheriff’s Office’s concerns that a concert could stretch the county’s ability to properly respond to 911 calls and other emergencies.

The Goochland County Planning Commission eventually recommended the Board of Supervisors deny EventMakers’ CUP request during its meeting last month.

Moving on

Larry Creeger, EventMakers’ executive producer, said keeping a positive rapport between Henrico and Goochland was far more important than moving forward with the group’s CUP request.

“That’s a relationship that we don’t want to damage,” Creeger said. “I think a majority of residents in Goochland could benefit from a series like this, but I think for us, it’s finding a balance that works for everyone.”

Considering next steps

The move to terminate the application also gives EventMakers time to re-evaluate its initial request, if it decides to seek a CUP for an event space in Goochland in the future. Had it moved forward with the application and supervisors denied it, the group would have had to wait a year to re-apply.

“It gives us some time,” Creeger said. “We want to be respectful of the process and to our neighbors.”

In the meantime, EventMakers and the Innsbrook Foundation last week announced their intention to produce the 2020 Innsbrook After Hours Summer Concert Series in the Henrico office park.

The foundation, which sponsors the Innsbrook series, and Highwoods Properties, which owns the land on which the concerts currently take place, also are looking to produce a more scaled-down concert series at a new location in Innsbrook in the future.

Creeger said owning the “After Hours” brand gives EventMakers the freedom to re-establish the concert series – minus the Innsbrook tag – in other parts of the region and state. He said his company will continue to work with the Innsbrook Foundation as it retools its concert series.

“It really is an opportunity for us,” Creeger said. “I think the writing is on the wall when it comes to what Innsbrook wants to do with the series on their property. For us there’s an opportunity to remain in Innsbrook and then do something else, possibly on a larger scale, in another part of the city or region.”

That possibly could mean bringing a concert series to Goochland, albeit in a format that works for all parties involved and doesn’t interfere with operations in Innsbrook, Creeger said.

“We’re going to keep our options open at this point,” he said. “Right now, our focus is on the upcoming 2020 series in Innsbrook, and looking for other areas to grow After Hours.”

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William W Willis
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William W Willis

That’s a shame, was looking forward to better parking and maybe even better sightlines to the stage than the flat ground maybe even slopped down to the stage some for better views. That and close to a 288 and Hardywood and KinderdSpirt would have loved the before and after party crowd and extra business. I thought this was going to be a win-win. Then Innsbrook after hours could have kept a smaller music offering within Innsbrook at more suitable hours for the work crowd.

Frank Smith
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Frank Smith

A missed opportunity, driven by poor efforts to overcome technical issues (the sound test was very flawed).

There’s nothing better than a threatened move, to get everyone’s attention though!

Eric Vaughan
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Eric Vaughan

“The board, which began a public hearing on the item around midnight, heard from 15 to 20 people in opposition to the potential concert venue, including Henrico County Supervisor Patricia O’Bannon of that county’s nearby Tuckahoe District.” Henrico? Being good neighbors is one thing but them having reps at a GOOCHLAND Supervisors meeting is, IMHO, inappropriate. It’s like your nest door neighbor coming to your house for your family meeting. “Goochland officials also were concerned about traffic, parking and safety, specifically the Goochland Sheriff’s Office’s concerns that a concert could stretch the county’s ability to properly respond to 911 calls… Read more »

David J. Kupstas
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David J. Kupstas

Frankly, I wasn’t aware that after 5:00 there’d be anyone within a mile to hear any noise, aside from the concertgoers.

Mary Carlson
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Mary Carlson

IMHO it’s not inappropriate for citizens of Henrico to attend , if the venue is going to affect neighborhoods across the creek, which it would have. Not to mention, the citizens on the Goochland side would have been impacted as well. The difference with Hardywood is it would be double the noise, into residential areas, with a much larger event.

Eric Vaughan
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Eric Vaughan

I do not dismiss your concerns. Respectfully, I believe the way it should work is you tell your elected representative how you feel and then they will talk to mine. After all the Goochland County Board of Supervisors work for the residents of Goochland not Henrico.

Robin Ricketts
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Robin Ricketts

There are a lot of us across the creek in Henrico who live less than a mile from this proposed site. We already hear the Hardy Wood music whether we like it or not. There is no sound barrier and the sound travels quite well across the open water.

Henry Francis
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Henry Francis

If you check a map there are thousands of people who live much closer than a mile to the proposed venue and 55+ housing is being built now. Lots of people live close to this location and would get hit with the noise and vibration in their own homes as well as be subject to all the problems that major traffic congestion brings. The area is zoned industrial, but it is surrounded by residences.

Ed Christina
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Hardywood spent a lot of money, pays a lot of taxes, and employs a lot of people in Goochland. The county wanted the jobs and when taken with that package, some concerts are easy to swallow.
Concerts alone, not so much.

Eric Vaughan
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Eric Vaughan

This is not an attack on you or Hardywood but spending a lot of money should nothing to do with it, naive as that may be. Still, that doesn’t address the alleged concern over the police/rescue thing. Either you have the personnel or you don’t. As far as the jobs, I know many people employed at Hardywood West Creek, they live in Richmond, Chesterfield, and Henrico. I don’t know a single one from Goochland.

Henry Francis
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Henry Francis

If the noise, traffic, air pollution, trash, security risk, etc. all stayed in Goochland, then it might be a Goochland issue. But those things affect a wide area, including a significant portion of western Henrico. That area would not be secured, controlled, or cleaned up, or even receive traffic assistance as part of the proposal. There was no viable plan to manage any of those issues, and it dumped more than 4000 cars onto a road system inadequate to handle the crowds. Goochland does not have personnel, would never collect enough to add sufficient personnel, and off duty or officers… Read more »

Ed Christina
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I respectfully disagree. Having a positive economic impact is something that should be considered into the equation.
Getting your way with a shoe box full of 50’s is one thing.
Using music to bring people into Goochland to make your brewery more money, and pay more taxes, is another.
What West Creek needs most of all is a good lunch spot, anyway.

karl hott
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karl hott

So many people in our area resist change, but once it happens they soon learn the sky hasn’t actually fallen and sometimes actually appreciate the new amenities. Sadly a missed opportunity for Goochland.

Fred Squire
Guest

If everyone is so eager to have Goochland host this concert series (why not host it in Hanover, Powhatan or the City??? Does no one live there?) just suggest they host it at the field day of the past location. Easy access to 64, and little to no issue with sound. I don’t see the problem with finding another location….is West Creek the only spot of dirt left in the state ? I also love the folks saying those in Henrico have no say, if they are impacted taxpayers, they absolutely do. And it appears they contacted their rep. For… Read more »