Asser Levy Summer Concert Series Continues; Bloomberg to Consider '500 Foot Rule'
The show will go on! The City Council will vote on new sound permit legislation. Mayor Bloomberg will consider a 90-day pilot program allowing the Seaside Summer Concert Series to continue at Asser Levy Park in Coney Island this summer while the "500 foot rule" is studied.
Performers scheduled to appear include Aretha Franklin, John Legend, Brenda Lee and Neil Sedaka, The Beach Boys, George Thorogood and the Destroyers with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes and more! (for more information, go to www.brooklynconcerts.com).
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz's statement on New York City Council's passage of new sound permit legislation creating pilot program:
The show will go on! This vote is a vote for valued cultural programming in our City's parks and a show of commitment to ensuring our City's laws reflect the needs of our vibrant, diverse 21st century city. I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg, to whom this bill now proceeds, City Council and Speaker Christine Quinn, as well as the Public Safety Committee and Chairman Peter Vallone, and of course, the NYPD for their support of this pilot project allowing free concerts to continue in all five boroughs, including the Seaside Summer Concert Series, which has been held at Asser Levy Seaside Park in without complaint for 19 summers, and to continue to bring joy to thousands.
As is well known, our Brooklyn and New York City parks have always celebrated cultural programming, and Asser Levy Seaside Park in Coney Island has been the site of live performance for over a century in some form or another. It is the "Eastern Gateway" to Coney Island. This site, where John Philip Sousa once played, and where community organizer Sidney Jonas held shows from the 1960's to the early 1990's, has for the past 19 years been a place where pop fans could thrill to the music of everyone from superstars like Liza Minnelli, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Smokey Robinson, and Paul Anka, to rock and disco icons like Peter Frampton and Donna Summer to more recent generations of hit-makers like Hall & Oates and the B-52's.
This pilot project compromise ensures that alleged services held in nearby synagogues will not be disturbed, and prevents the attempted cynical use by some (and by their own admission) of the so-called "500-foot rule" to hold these shows hostage to an agenda to stop future park renovations.
The rehabilitation of Asser Levy Park is a priority project of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and the New York City Department of Design and Construction. Planned renovations include a covered band shell as well as improved drainage, walkways, a new state-of-the-art comfort station and fabulous new accessible playground, and will only make the park better and more usable for the surrounding community as well as for those visitors who will experience it as a vibrant part of the Coney Island revitalization.
I look forward to the findings gathered by the pilot program, and to a full study of the 500-foot rule in the months and years to come, which will ensure that this 1939 law is fine-tuned and best serves our neighborhoods, Coney Island, this borough and this great city in the present and the days ahead.