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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Calendar > Arts and Culture

Mysteryland brings excitement and concern

By Dan Hust - staff writer

By: Contributed
Tens of thousands of campers descended on Bethel Woods for the inaugural Mysteryland Festival in 2014 and even more are expected this Memorial Day Weekend.
WHITE LAKE — Preparing for up to 30,000 people when Mysteryland rolls into Bethel Woods Memorial Day weekend, the Bethel Town Board unanimously approved both traffic and noise plans at its Wednesday meeting.
“I myself am very excited and a bit cautious about Mysteryland,” Supervisor Dan Sturm acknowledged.
That's because the electronic music festival's first outing in Bethel last year drew 10,000 fewer people than what's expected in 2015 - yet still produced sounds that literally reverberated for miles around.
So this year's version is hoped to be a repeat in economic success but not noise.
“I hope I don't get shook up this year,” Bethel Councilwoman Lilly Hendrickson remarked, though she added, “It was just for a little while.”
Worries were aired more passionately by residents Pete Hofstee and Maura Stone.

Hofstee, a Bethel farmer, said 2014's pounding bass “was unbearable.”
“I don't want another repeat of last year,” he told officials and Mysteryland's Project Leader Brian Tamke, “because I tell you, I really can't stand another year of it!”
Stone, who suffers from acute sensitive hearing, was concerned that no decibel levels were set in the noise permits the town approved that evening.
“We don't use decibels [in the revised town code],” replied Sturm. “We use ‘unreasonable sounds.'”
The permits do allow noises that would otherwise be prohibited - one for amplified music, another for 10 minutes of fireworks just prior to 2 a.m. both May 23 and 24.
Sturm noted that the fireworks were shot off at the same time of night in 2014 and that the amplified music permit applies to the camping area around Best Road, which last year did not generate any complaints.
The main stages - proposed to be 11 in all - do not require noise permits, said Sturm, as they are within the performing arts zone Bethel Woods itself occupies.
Nevertheless, Tamke explained that a third-party consultant has examined last year's noise issues. Sturm said Bethel is awaiting the report and recommendations.
Tamke also dealt with a business owner's complaint that all but two local vendors - some of whom had successfully set up shop at Mysteryland in 2014 - were not selected for 2015, to which he replied that a new concessionaire was making those decisions.
Calling the various matters “growing pains,” he offered to discuss individual situations with people after the meeting (a suggestion which apparently was taken up).
“We'll do everything we can to make this palatable to everyone,” Tamke promised.

When and where roads will be closed
According to a resolution approved unanimously by the Bethel Town Board on Wednesday, the following roads will be closed in association with Mysteryland's construction, camping and concert activities at Bethel Woods (the roads will remain open to emergency vehicles, ticketholders, festival workers and affected property owners):
• West Shore Road - May 18-27, between Happy Avenue and Hurd Road
• Best Road - May 18-27, between Darling and West Shore roads
• Hurd Road - May 21-25, between NYS Route 17B and West Shore Road

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