Cagiao may take concerts to Penrose Stadium
Street, parks rejections end Old Colorado City quest
Having hit a brick wall on bringing additional major bands to Old Colorado City, Charlie Cagiao is now looking at Penrose Stadium for future concerts.
This could mean that at least two nationally known classic-rock bands - Ten Years After and Firefall - will play there in August or September, according to Cagiao, an Old Colorado City pizza shop owner and former rock musician who had booked the Jefferson Starship on Colorado Avenue in May. Other groups he is talking with include Jay and the Americans, Robbie Krieger (formerly of the Doors), Billy Idol and the B-52s, he said. Ten Years After is slated for Sept. 9.
Cagiao's decision to back off from Old Colorado City - at least for the time being - followed a recent meeting with City Parks Director Paul Butcher, at which he was told that bands drawing crowds of substantial size would not be allowed in Old Colorado City's two main parks (Bancroft or Vermijo).
“It's not worth it when I feel like I've got so much against me,” Cagiao said.
Butcher's feedback dashed Cagiao's hopes to put a Brule spin-off band in Bancroft as part of a tentative Independence Day event on July 4. With nowhere else to turn on short notice, “there wasn't enough time to promote it,” he told the Westside Pioneer.
Prior to that, he had been forced to cancel a June 24 Firefall concert on Colorado Avenue because City Police did not grant him a permit. Some merchants on Colorado Avenue had complained about problems of trash, trespassing and loss of business resulting from the roughly 5,000-strong crowd at the Starship concert; however, Cagiao claims that the great majority of merchants appreciated the event as a promotional boon for Old Colorado City.
In recent interviews with Butcher, the Pioneer has been told that the rough limit for Bancroft was around 100 people and 500 at Vermijo, but individual circumstances, such as parking, noise and neighborhood interest, need to be considered as well. Underlining such concerns, several local residents have complained bitterly to the city about problems resulting from Old Colorado City events - as Butcher heard first-hand when coordinating a recent series of neighborhood meetings on the subject.
Cagiao had once thought he could put Firefall at Vermijo as a fallback location, but with a crowd estimate of about 2,000, this would be too big, according to Butcher.
Cagiao isn't entirely shelving his desire to promote his business area with music. If Penrose works out - and he said he's received encouragement from its management - Old Colorado City merchants will be welcome to set up booths in the stadium parking lot to offer their wares.
One criticism Cagiao has heard is that his promotional efforts are just to benefit himself. His answer is that he's been talking with a charity called Freedom Alliance, led by Colonel (Oliver) North, that “takes care of the family for any fallen soldier. I'd give most of the profits to them,” he said. “I'm not looking for money for myself at all.”
In the meantime, Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) merchants group President Carole Jourdan is curious how things will go with “Paint the Town Blue,” a live- blues series (partly sponsored by the City of Colorado Springs and the OCCA) in Bancroft Park on Thursday evenings through Aug. 17. Organizers have predicted that as many as 500 people might attend.
“I hope they fill the park and everybody has a great time,” she said, noting that key differences between “Blue” and the music at Territory Days or the Starship concert is that no alcohol will be sold and the street won't be closed.
If a larger crowd works out well, she hopes the city will see that Bancroft can handle more than 100-some people without problems. She's also aware that some of the event opponents are likely to be looking for trash and counting illegally parked cars. “Let them count,” she said. “And while they count, I hope they enjoy the music. We don't need the conflict.”
Westside Pioneer article