May 26, 2011 —
BETHEL, NY — On Thursday, May 19, the entrance to the property of Jeryl Abramson and Roy Howard on Route 17B in Bethel was barred and traffic was being turned away as the owners sought to comply with the Town of Bethel’s orders to desist from their plans of hosting a crowd of about 5,000 people for the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend. The planned event on the property was related to the Phish concert at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, scheduled to take place over all three days of the weekend.
Owners Howard and Abramson were passing out the following press release to those who stopped at the entry to their property:
“Due to the heavy-handed threat of prosecution and the clearly uneven application of the law by the Town of Bethel, we regretfully cannot go through with our plan to make everyone’s stay in Bethel more hospitable.
“It is not for our lack of trying to comply, or that we did not apply for the proper permits. It’s just that every permit we get from the town has restrictions that we cannot comply with, such as: evacuating the property for two hours in the middle of the night; limiting our capacity to 25 tents; or requiring additional permits that no one has ever heard of before, such as a permit for a temporary stage. Although other businesses in the town either don’t need the same permits we need, or have fewer restrictions, we seem to be held to a stricter standard when it comes to public safety and even then, there always seems to be another barrier we have to cross.
“We are confident that the Town of Bethel, along with their partner Bethel Woods, has a plan in place that will ensure the safety and well being of the traveling public and town residents. After all, they were anticipating three days of Phish long before we offered our support.
“We hope everyone enjoys their stay in the home of peace, love and music.”