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Grandoozy Drawback: Lack of parking could make for a doozy of a mess

Posted at 6:33 PM, Sep 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-11 20:58:50-04

DENVER — Denver's first major music festival in eight years is expected to draw in crowds by the tens of thousands.

But even if you’re not going to Grandoozy, there's a good chance you'll feel the impact.

That's because for all the planning that went into this - a place to park does not come with the price of admission.

And then, there are the road closures. One lane of Santa Fe Blvd. to the east of the Overland Park Golf Course will be closed. Florida Ave. to the north of the course is already closed entirely and Jewell Ave. to the south will be closed starting Thursday.

And, light rail will also be a challenge for some. The lines along Santa Fe will still be running, but RTD plans to shut down the lines from the Colorado Convention Center to 30th and Downing for the 10 days for line maintenance beginning this Friday.

So, if you depend on rail service from northeast Denver, you might have to walk or take a bus or Uber to get to the convention center.

At the Overland Park on Tuesday, the main stage was nearly complete, standing just 200 feet from Dave Fetscher's front door.

"It’s too close,” Fetscher said. “The stage is there; my house is here."

"There's going to be a lot of people walking through our neighborhood," said Joe Covarrubias. “I don’t know how that’s going to work.”

A lot of walking because there is nowhere to park. That's why the far right lane of southbound Santa Fe between Florida and Jewell will be closed. That closure on will be for Uber, Lyft and cab drop-offs and pick-ups, as well as family and friends dropping off and picking up.

"There are going to be back-ups and slow-downs during the festival which is from 1:30 in the afternoon to 10 o'clock at night, Friday through Sunday," said Jill Thiare, communications and outreach specialist for the City of Denver’s Office of Special Events. “If anyone’s not going to the event this weekend – I would say go ahead and steer clear of the event area just to make it easy on yourself.”

The city is optimistic and believes Superfly is extremely professional.

"The city is really optimistic about how things will go,” Thiare said. “But of course, with any kind of event of this size, and this large an impact, you never know what's going to happen."

Festival goers should also know - unlike the three-day Phish concerts at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, camping at Overland Golf Course will be strictly prohibited.

"This is a no camping festival,” Thiare said. “There will not be any camping allowed."

As for the neighborhood, Superfly did offer each of the 140 homeowners here two free tickets for all three days. Also, Superfly has agreed to pay for hotel rooms for neighbors with medical conditions who can’t or don’t want to stay.

All that said, anxiety is building about the traffic, the crowds and the potential for damage to the golf course.

"We'll see what happens when the concert is done, but if it rains – it could be bad," Fetscher said.

Festival-goers can also ride their bikes. There will be a complimentary bike valet for all those who ride down.