Board pulls permit for Oxxfest rock concert in Wiscasset

Posted April 20, 2011, at 3:55 p.m.

WISCASSET, Maine — The Board of Selectmen unanimously revoked the Wiscasset Raceway’s special amusement permit to host a second annual heavy metal concert this summer.

The board’s decision came less than a month after raceway owner Doug White posted on the venue’s website that he’s putting the property up for sale.

“As you know, the track has had major renovations on both the pit side as well as the grandstand side, and is ready for someone to take it to the next level in 2011,” White wrote on the raceway website last month. “I am selling the track for $500,000. Equipment will be sold separately.”

In his announcement that he plans to sell the track, White noted that he has “town-approved permits for three concerts, a circus and Bikefest 2011.” But on Tuesday night, selectmen revoked at least one of those concert permits.

Last summer’s all-day Oxxfest 2010 concert at the raceway featured nationally known rock bands such as Shinedown and Sevendust and attracted an estimated 10,000 fans to the 3,500-person town.

Some area residents and business owners lauded the event as a much-needed economic boon, while others complained about what they described as loud noise, vulgar language and the misbehavior of rowdy concert goers.

White had secured a permit to throw another such show this summer. But a condition of the permit approval was that a final plan detailing security, parking, vending and other aspects of the event be submitted 90 days before the show.

Based on the Board of Selectmen’s meeting schedule, the deadline to submit that plan was Tuesday night. According to a memo provided to the board by Town Manager Laurie Smith, municipal staff contacted White to alert him of the looming deadline, but he was found to be in North Carolina and unavailable to attend Tuesday’s meeting.

That left the board to consider Tuesday whether to extend his deadline to submit the concert plan or revoke his permit for the show. With no discussion and a 4-0 vote, selectmen revoked the permit.

Selectman Bob Blagden was absent from the meeting.

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