Opposition prompts withdrawal of Topaz festival permit
January 24, 2019
An application for an electronic music festival at Topaz Lake was withdrawn by the applicant on Thursday after residents turned out to protest.
Bass Camp, which has been held at Lake Tahoe for four years, most recently in 2016, was proposed to bring 3,000-6,000 people to the south county reservoir on July 26-28.
Resident Terry Germaine said he can hear anglers in their boats talking at 6 a.m., so the music proposed would be intolerable.
"I can't see putting 3,000 to 6,000 people out there without it causing a major incident," he said.
Resident Jim Doolittle pointed out that he lives along the only road in and out of the park.
"The location may not have the capacity to accommodate the event," he said asking for an additional 60 days for the public to review the proposal.
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Nevada Department of Wildlife Chief Tyler Turnipseed said he was concerned that closing access to the boat ramp at Topaz Lake might be a violation of the conditions of the grant that paid for most of it.
"Closing access to the launch ramp would potentially get my agency and Douglas County in hot water," he said.
County commissioners were united in opposition to the event as presented.
"I've received quite a few emails from I'd estimate 15-20 percent of the people living down there," Commissioner Larry Walsh said. "Most of them are dead set against the festival."
Walsh said he wanted to see more public outreach from the community before he'd vote for the event.
"For my vote, you still need to talk to residents," he said.
Commissioner Wes Rice, who served on Douglas County's patrol boat at Lake Tahoe said he didn't know how organizers were going to keep people out of the water after the event's midnight closure.
"I've seen what alcohol, youth and poor judgment can cause," he said.
Commissioner Dave Nelson said he felt the event was too large for the venue.
Organizer Paul Reder told commissioners they anticipated needing to park 1,500-3,000 vehicles for the event.
He said it was possible to scale the event down.
"It's all math," he said. "All we have to do is figure out what everyone is comfortable with."