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February 28. 2013 9:04PM

Meadowbrook camping trial run OK'd

GILFORD - Meadowbrook has been given the town's approval for a trial period of allowing campers to stay overnight on Meadowbrook grounds after a show.

The selectmen have given permission for the venue to set up 96 camp sites for use at three events in the pavilion's upcoming season of performances, said Town Administrator Scott Dunn.

If the trial goes well, more camping may be permitted on the grounds, he said.

Police and fire department officials have not expressed concern about camping sites at the pavilion, Dunn said.

The camp sites are part of the pavilion's ongoing $3 million expansion, which will bring the venue's seating capacity from 6,400 to 8,300 for the upcoming season, said the pavilion's president, R.J. Harding.

The pavilion, known as Meadowbrook Farm before it opened as a music and performance venue in 1996, had 6,487 seats last season - 3,097 reserved seats under its pavilion roof, 540 upper reserved lawn seats and 2,850 general admission lawn seats.

The new pavilion will extend one section and add about 2,300 new covered seats, building into a part of the lawn seating area. That will decrease the lawn seats by about 800, Harding said.

Also being added is a new 500-space parking lot, a new food and beverage facility, and a second access road. The new road should cut the concertgoers' departure delays from traffic, which sometimes could last for 90 minutes or more, in half, he said.

A new audio system is being added, as well as a new curtain system.

The concert season begins on May 17, with Motley Crue.


dseufert@newstote.com





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