Not since McGuire Martin ran the Santa Rosa Island Authority to promote his business and personal interests and squash any competition has Pensacola Beach politics come across so backwards.
The committee vote to force DeLuna Fest to pay-off smaller events, which had refused to negotiate with the music event’s organizers, is seen by many as extortion. No wonder the three smaller groups that attract maybe 2500 people combined felt they didn’t have to compromise with Deluna Fest, that attracts 10-20 times more people—the SRIA board would force the organizers to cough up money.
The rule on Pensacola Beach is new guys always have to buy off the old guys.
Meanwhile Downtown Pensacola businesses are excited about the possibility of getting DeLuna Fest–another event that will add to what has become a year-round entertainment/festival area.
If the SRIA votes to uphold the committee pay-off decision, then Pensacola Beach businesses need to stop complaining about their weak off-season. They had a cash cow that they let get away. Last time this happened was in the 1990s when the SRIA voted to stop offering free Spring Break concerts….sending the college students and their dollars to Panama City, Gulf Shores and elsewhere.
BTW: Ed Guernsey is Comm. Gene Valentino’s representative on the SRIA board. Email Gene let him know how you feel.