540 Fest Newspaper Article 2

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Paper: Courier-Journal, The (Louisville, KY)
Title: Fire marshal closes S. Indiana festival
Date: June 11, 1999
Section: NEWS
Page: 06B

A four-day punk music festival planned at a Jeffersonville, Ind., club was shut down yesterday after the city's fire marshal deemed the building unsafe and found organizers hadn't obtained permits for the event.

The 540 Fest, which was to showcase about three dozen independent, underground bands and about a dozen local artists, was in its first day at the 540 Club in the Quadrangle on 10th Street when it was stopped about 6:30 p.m. Organizers moved the festival to Pandamonium in Louisville last night and are working to relocate the rest of the weekend events.

The festival was previewed on the front page of the Features section in yesterday's Courier-Journal.

Fire Maj. Clark Miles said he learned about the concert from the police department, who said they weren't aware until yesterday that it was taking place. Miles then learned that the club's owners had not requested clearance for the event from the city's Board of Public Works.

``We didn't have a chance to prepare, and we were blindsided, Miles said. ``We don't want to deny kids from doing stuff in a positive fashion, but there are some safety issues.

Miles said that when he got to the 540 Club, which is an all-ages club, about 100 people were there. He said the club usually has no more than 40 teens there at any given time.

``The structure wasn't safe enough for the number of people they were trying to have, Miles said.

Mike Harpring, 18, who organized the event, said bands had come from as far as Ontario, New Jersey and Missouri to play, and it was a disappointment for all involved. He said some of the bands played at Pandamonium.

``It was one of the most disappointing feelings, there was so much time and money invested, Harpring said. ``The atmosphere at the club was people getting angry and people getting sad - mostly getting sad.

Copyright (c) The Courier-Journal. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Gannett Co., Inc. by NewsBank, inc.