Annual festival scheduled for June in City of Newburgh postponed

The Newburgh Illuminated Festival is on hold because of disagreements between organizers and the city over the time and location of the event.

News 12 Staff

Apr 13, 2023, 10:17 PM

Updated 411 days ago


A beloved annual music festival that triples the City of Newburgh's population for one day has been postponed and may not even happen in the city this year.
"They're going to try to put this back on us," said Rich Fracasse an organizer of Newburgh's annual one-day Illuminated Festival.
Fracasse said they are not going to be able to hold it at the beginning of June as planned because of disagreements between organizers and the city about the time and location of the festival.
"It was a unanimous decision amongst the whole board to postpone it," Fracasse elaborated.
He explained that they were planning to end the festival at 10 p.m. just like last year, but city administrators would only issue a permit for a 7 p.m. end time.
Fracasse said they were planning to expand the size of the festival area because they were expecting a crowd that would have been larger than last year's 75,000 attendees. Administrators, however, offered a smaller area.
"This is after we've got 180 to 200 vendors signed up. We've got 30, 40, 50 bands that are going to be here. We've got all of this stuff happening," Fracasse said.
At this week's City Council meeting, the police chief said a 7 p.m. end time is best, so cleanup crews do not have to work late. He said a certain lot is blocked to the festival because there are construction materials everywhere.
Some council members are hoping to work out compromises to keep the city's biggest event of the year in the city.
"If you're threatening to go to another place, you're welcome to do that. It will not have the same feel, but you're very welcome to do that... Let's go in a different direction and we're going to work together," said Council member Anthony Grice
Fracasse said the Illuminated Festival board is trying to get leaders in other communities like the nearby Town of Newburgh to host the festival later this summer if they do not strike a deal with the city.
A Town of Newburgh council member who is also on Illuminated's vendors committee said there is no venue or park in the town that could accommodate a festival this size. He said he hopes the city and the Illuminated organizers come to some kind of an agreement because the festival needs to happen in the City of Newburgh.
Illuminated organizers are also considering holding the festival at a county park. A county spokesperson said parks nearby could not handle a crowd like that.

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