Plans for a new summer music festival received a warm reception from the Litchfield City Council last week.
But a full embrace of the event — including about $3,500 in electric upgrades around Litchfield Civic Arena — will have to wait for a legal review by the city’s attorney.
The Songs of Summer Festival is a nonprofit organization which aims to stage a music event on Saturday, Aug. 14, to raise money for youth-oriented programs and activities, according to Eric Mathwig, a council member and a spokesman for the event.
The Songs of Summer Festival replaces the Lichfield Community August Bash, which had been held in the parking lot on the north side of the Civic Arena. With a new name, the event’s organizers also hope to hold the festival in a new location — a grassy area on the south side of the civic arena.
Mayor Keith Johnson praised the event, saying it was a good way to bring people together in the summer.
In addition, Mathwig said, the event — when it was the August Bash — raised $10,000 to $15,000 which was donated to youth-oriented organizations.
However, moving the event to the south side of Civic Arena will necessitate installation of electrical power stations both for the bands and for vendors, Mathwig said.
Staging the Songs of Summer is estimated to cost about $20,000, and the organizing committee already has raised $14,000 through donations, Mathwig said. He asked if the city might also support the event by funding the power stations.
“We need more power in the new location,” Mathwig said. “We would like the city to consider helping us with it in any way shape or form, if they can.”
To adequately support the event’s power needs, three 50 amp services would be needed on the exterior of the Civic Arena’s southwest corner — to support the bands’ stage — and six portable 20-amp “trees” that could be extended from the skating rink warming house near the south end of the green space.
The trees would be removed and stored after the event, but could be made available for other groups, Mathwig said.
Asked if there might be other needs for the additional power service in the area, City Administrator Dave Cziok said that whenever an outlet is added, “we find a use for it.” He also said a couple of different funds could be used to pay for the work, depending on what the primary use for the electrical service might be in the future.
Before the city moves forward with the project, however, City Attorney Mark Wood suggested he be given time to review the arrangement.
“The city, in making a donation to a nonprofit, we have to be careful,” Wood said. “We would have to clarify exactly how this is going to happen.
“Not that it can’t be done,” Wood added later, “just that we’ve got to figure out how we’re going to do it.”