UPDATE 9-30-2017 The Loudon Zoning Board of Adjustment voted unanimously Thursday to grant New Hampshire Motor Speedway the variances it needs to hold a three-day country music festival next summer.
The country music festival would be promoted by Live Nation, a global entertainment company headquartered in Beverly Hills, Calif. The speedway estimates it would bring 20,000 visitors in August 2018.
The application was passed with the special conditions that the festival be a three-day annual concert, with acts solely running from 2 to 10 p.m., occurring between June 1 and Sept. 1. Participants would be allowed to stay on the speedway grounds for a maximum of four nights - Thursday through Sunday. Before the ZBA made its decision, the public was asked to offer new testimony to build on what was provided at the prior hearing Aug. 24, which went on for more than four hours.
New Hampshire Motor Speedway General Manager and Executive President David McGrath said at the Aug. 24 meeting that the performers for the festival would be "A-list" and "top-notch" country music acts. There would be four to six acts per day. In a statement Thursday, McGrath said the ZBA's decision is "terrific news for music fans, local business and for tourism in the Capitol Region. We deeply value our relationship with the people of Loudon and surrounding communities and thank the members of the Loudon Zoning Board for their support" he said. "A recent impact study concludes the country music festival will have an overwhelmingly positive economic impact on the region."
--- Concord Monitor ---
ORIGINAL 8-27-2017:The New Hampshire Motor Speedway is trying to pave the way for a three-day music festival, asking the town of Loudon to give its support to the event, which would happen next year.
Residents packed into the Loudon Elementary School gymnasium Thursday night to hear the plans for the proposed festival, which would be put on by entertainment company Live Nation.
The Speedway said it started considering the concert before it learned it would lose one of its two NASCAR races to Las Vegas in 2018.
NHMS said this is a good way to use the venue and bring business to the state, specifically requesting the town allow camping in some parking lots.
NHMS said it already conducted sound tests, traffic studies and hosts other recreation and entertainment events.
The track's neighbors are lining up on different sides of the street.
If approved, the concert could come to NHMS sometime next July or August.
--- WMUR ---
New Hampshire Motor Speedway's plan to hold a three-day music festival next year faced the scrutiny of the Loudon Zoning Board of Adjustment and town residents Thursday night, but no decision on whether to approve the event was reached.
Some residents who oppose the event argue that a festival would violate a 1989 settlement that grants the speedway the right to hold concerts only in conjunction with racing. In the nearly 30 years since that settlement was reached in Merrimack County Superior Court, the speedway has grown significantly and now boasts 1,200 acres.
Dave McGrath, vice president and general manager of the speedway along Route 106 in Loudon, told the board that while the festival will feature "A-List" country music acts, it will not be on the scale of the track's twice-annual NASCAR race weekends.
--- Concord Monitor ---