Arts & Culture Maplewood Towns

Maplewoodstock Introduces New Canopy, Blanket Rules

Maplewoodstock, now hitting its “lucky 13” birthday, has become a wildly popular event, bringing local and big name bands to Memorial Park each July for two days of fun, food, art, vendors, biergarten and music, music, music.

(This year the event takes place July 9 and 10. See the full schedule here.)

But with success come some challenges.

Those looking to get as comfy as possible for the two-day fest have been upping the “glamping” factor of late, as crowds of canopies fill the lawn, and blankets are used to stake out and hold onto valuable real estate. Clearly, it’s reached a point where Maplewoodstock organizers have felt the need to issue some directives governing the heights of canopies (no less than 7′ to preserve sight lines) and the maximum size of blanket and canopy coverage area (10′ x 10′), and have disallowed leaving canopies up overnight.

Keep in mind: Vendor canopies in the vendor zones are allowed overnight. The no-overnight canopy directive applies only to attendees’ canopies on the lawn.

Here’s the full update from the Maplewoodstock organizers:

Blankets and Canopy Policy

Your enthusiastic support of our festival has grown over our 13 years to a point where we attract a daily crowd of nearly 7,000 people.  That growth requires us to continually re-assess our policies so that we can provide a safe, enjoyable, and family-friendly event.

Over the last few years, we’ve had larger and earlier-arriving crowds – including (a) an ever-growing number of canopies (including tents, gazebos, and umbrellas) and people spreading down the hill towards the stage and (b) an increasing amount of people are placing down blankets to “hold a space” early in the morning, but not actually occupying the space until later in the day, or even the next evening.

In order to ensure fair views and access for all, we have established this policy for our 2016 festival.

  1. We will establish a “Canopy Zone” — a clearly marked area on the hill in which canopies may be set up.  No canopies (including tents, gazebos, and umbrellas) may be situated outside the Canopy Zone or prior to the Zone being established. We reserve the right to re-mark or adjust our zones at any time during the festival to improve safety and visibility. In addition, in accordance with a town ordinance now being enforced, unless you are a contracted food or art vendor, ALL canopies and tents must be removed after each evening – audience members can no longer leave a tent up overnight- it will be removed per the Maplewood Township administrator. Just “breaking down” or collapsing your tent won’t be sufficient. This goes for those who were planning on setting up on Friday as well (the day before the festival opens) and coming back the next day- your tent may not be there on Saturday.
  2. To ensure sightlines, only open-sided canopies are allowed.  Close-sided structures of any type are prohibited.
  3. No canopy or blanket may exceed a 10’ x 10’ area.  In addition, to ensure sightlines, canopies must be raised to a height of no less than 7 feet (ground to bottom of canopy top).
  4. Arts, Food, and Kid Zone vendors will not be affected by this policy.
  5. Small personal and compact canopies (e.g. attached to the back of a lawn chair) or umbrellas (in hand) will typically be fine.
  6. If you’re not there, expect to share. If you are not present, but are simply holding a space with a blanket or canopy to come back at a later time, others may temporarily and respectfully occupy your space in your absence. Upon your return, they will be expected to move on. This is a common practice and policy at other similar music festivals.
  7. We will establish 3-4 (clearly-marked) aisles of passage down and across the hill that will remain absolutely free and clear of any furniture, blankets, or any other material.
  8. As always, all blankets, canopies, chairs, coolers, etc. are left on the hill during the festival at the risk of the owners. Maplewoodstock is not responsible for any loss or movement of anything left on grounds before, during, or after our event.
  9. We ask for everyone’s cooperation. Our audiences are always great, but please know that Maplewoodstock and the Maplewood Police Department will proactively enforce this new policy as necessary.

Our aim is to ensure that everyone can enjoy the festival with equal access. As we continue to evolve, we strive to provide our community with an increasingly amazing festival experience. Thank you for your continuing support of this wonderful, free community event.

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