PORT TOWNSEND — The Seattle Theatre Group is preparing for at least 5,000 people per day during its first Thing arts event next month, and representatives from the company have a plan for the impacts at Fort Worden State Park and surrounding areas.
Thing — an exhibition of music, comedy and other forms of art — will be held across four main stages Aug. 24-25. It is being organized by Adam Zacks, the creator of the Sasquatch! Music Festival in George, south of Wenatchee.
“It is a music festival, but we sort of want it to be different than just your average, homogeneous, dime-a-dozen music festival that’s out there,” Nadia Quitslund, a booking and sales manager for Seattle Theatre Group (STG), told Port Townsend City Council members during a Monday presentation.
The group plans to host 500 parking and camping spots at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, which is typically equipped to handle 80 camping spots, STG Theatre Manager Mason Sherry said. The rest of the grounds will be opened to RV camping and tent camping.
Additional restrooms and showers will be added to the area, he said.
“We are going to try to make it as friendly as possible for folks,” Sherry said. “In managing it, we’re going to make sure folks have areas where they can gather, make sure it’s well-lit, make sure the rules of the campground are enforced and that there’s a curfew at the end of the night.”
Additional parking accommodations will be at Blue Heron Middle School, the Jefferson Transit Center and at the Peace Lot at F Street and San Juan Avenue.
Frequent shuttle service to Fort Worden on main arterials is scheduled during both days of the event.
“Our idea is to keep as many cars as possible away from the fort so it doesn’t impact neighborhoods negatively,” Sherry said.
Quitslund compared it to the recent Old School 4th of July, which had about the same number of people.
“It could potentially be more bodies than 5,000 because children under 13 are free to make it a more friendly price point for families to be able to come,” she said.
STG produced the Modest Mouse concert at Fort Worden last summer, a popular event that also prompted some noise complaints from area residents.
“What we’re using is pretty advanced technology in our sound systems,” Sherry said. “We’re able to actually directionalize sound.
“Basically, the sound is going to get sucked up by the soil. We’re going to point the sound down. People in the crowd will hear it, but most of it will end up in the ground instead of traveling free in the air.”
For ticket information or to view a list of musical acts and other forms of arts entertainment, visit ThingNW.org.
Jefferson County Managing Editor Brian McLean can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 6, or at [email protected].