Words and Music: IBG Meets with City of Boise Over Concert Series Flap 

IBG cried foul when city proposed Ann Morrison concert series

IBG: 'We want a level playing field.'

Kelsey Hawes

IBG: 'We want a level playing field.'

At least they're talking.

A week after Idaho Botanical Garden officials lambasted the city of Boise's proposal to host a summer concert series in Ann Morrison Park, fearing it would hinder the nonprofit's sustainability, IBG took its concerns to City Hall.

"Yes, we had some folks from our Parks and Rec Department, the mayor's office and there were two representatives from IBG," confirmed city spokesman Mike Journee. "It was a productive meeting. We talked for a while."

When IBG got wind of the city's request for proposals for a concert series, complete with alcohol sales, inside Ann Morrison Park, IBG Executive Director Erin Anderson cried foul, arguing that concerts in a city park only 3.3 miles from IBG's Outlaw Field would "come into direct competition."

"We want a fair playing field," said Anderson. "But by the city hosting a concert series in a city park paid for with taxpayer dollars, it's going to create a conflict."

Journee said that was never the intention of the city, which is floating the idea of a "contemporary concert series," beginning as soon as 2017, "to be handled under a specific contract with the promoter."

"There are others in the community that agree there's big potential for something like this," said Journee. "But we're not intending to harm any other business or nonprofit."

Hours after emerging from an Oct. 24 meeting on the subject at City Hall, Anderson was positive about the now-open channels of communication.

"We shared our concerns," she said. "The meeting was the first of several scheduled over the coming weeks."

It will be Novemberat the earliestbefore the city looks to see if a promoter wants to present a concert series at Ann Morrison.

"The upshot is that we all agreed to wait and see what proposals come from the RFP process," said Journee. "[It] is going to be at least two or three weeks before discussing anything in particular."

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