Festival, police warn against camping in city parks

SANDPOINT — Hardcore Festival at Sandpoint fans have some early mornings ahead of them if they’re serious about getting prime locations.

Officials behind the signature Sandpoint concert series are warning attendees to avoid camping in Lakeview Park or lining up the night before to save a spot in line. Sandpoint Police will be keeping an eye on the area throughout the Festival to crack down on people who violate ordinances against camping in city parks or disturbing the peace.

“The hope is that there will be no problem and we won’t have to do anything,” Police Chief Corey Coon said.

The Festival at Sandpoint has a special system in place for dedicated individuals who wish to secure the best seating locations without tying up their entire day. Those who choose to line up early in the morning receive a number they can use to hold their place in line. The earliest to arrive receive the first numbers, which means they have first crack at choosing a spot for the show.

“Our line and numbering policy is designed to reward you for being early while setting you free to enjoy a summer day in our beautiful town,” Festival executive director Dyno Wahl said.

This prompted some individuals to camp out or line up the night before the show last year. However, Wahl said those actions prompted complaints from nearby residents. Neighbors reported loud, obnoxious behavior from campers in the park, while others were worried about the potential presence of alcohol in the area.

“People were drinking and partying and laughing and playing music,” said Wahl.

Those who attempt to repeat that behavior this year could find themselves with citation for violating city laws.

An ordinance prohibiting overnight camping in city parks can land an individual with an infraction and a fine of up to $100. Repeat offenders may be slapped with a misdemeanor and a fine of up to $1,000. Meanwhile, individuals who disturb the peace between 10 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. can initially be charged with an infraction warranting a fine of up to $100, while subsequent violations within a two-year period are misdemeanors with a maximum fine of $300 and/or up to six months in jail.

To avoid a citation, Festival officials recommend lining up as early as 6 a.m. to collect numbers. The first numbers will be handed out between 8-8:30 a.m., with more numbers to follow between 10-11 a.m. and 1-2 p.m.

There is a strict limit of one number per person, however, that individual can then lay down a blanket for a group of four. Up to 300 numbers will be issued based on attendance, and number-holders should show up at least an hour before gates open to confirm their spot.

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