Schnepf to host Christian music festival - East Valley Tribune: News

Schnepf to host Christian music festival

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Posted: Saturday, September 12, 2009 7:30 pm | Updated: 2:54 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Schnepf Farms has signed its first concert since getting a permit to host up to 12 days of large music events a year: a three-day Christian music festival planned for February

Schnepf Farms has signed its first concert since getting a permit to host up to 12 days of large music events a year: a three-day Christian music festival planned for February.

And it's not expecting the alternative rock concert that prompted several neighbors to oppose the permit to return.

Revelations Music Festival, a regional show based in California, signed a contract in May, said farm owner Mark Schnepf.

"They love the venue because it has camping available to it, it's family friendly and very secure," Schnepf said. "I really look forward to hosting them."

Two event promoters didn't return messages left Friday afternoon. But Schnepf said there would be three stages, vendors and motivational speakers at the festival.

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Schnepf was awarded a permit that allows up to 12 days of large concerts each year in February over the objections of some neighbors.

Schnepf isn't expecting to fill all 12 days he's been allotted for several years. There are not many concerts looking for a venue like his farm, he said.

But Schnepf believes having the permit allowed him to get this concert.

"I had someone come knocking on my door, and they needed a quick answer," he said. "They were in town from California for three days, and they needed to select a venue in that time period."

Several neighbors complained the permit would bring noise, traffic congestion and bad behavior by concertgoers spilling into the neighborhood.

Those worries were heightened when Schnepf Farms hosted EdgeFest, an alternative rock festival put on by radio station KEDJ (103.9 FM, The Edge), for two years.

EdgeFest was in Tempe for many years but wasn't welcomed back after the city said it was too rowdy in 2006.

Police didn't note big problems in Queen Creek, but the reputation stuck.

But that festival doesn't appear to be coming back. The Edge no longer exists, since the station rebranded itself FM 103.9 earlier this year.

FM 103.9 and another station are jointly holding a three-day concert at Tempe Beach Park next month, which is about when EdgeFest had been held. And Schnepf hasn't heard anything from the station.

A message left with the station's promotions director Friday wasn't returned.

Schnepf notified his neighbors about the Christian festival in May.

Neighbor Ruth Reese's husband called to congratulate him.

Reese said she supports the farm. Her problem with EdgeFest was having a multiple-day festival with a lot of drinking next door.

"We did object to Mark having hard rock concerts in our neighborhood," Reese said. "I really don't suspect at a Christian concert we're going to have a bunch of soused people wandering around the neighborhood."

But Schnepf said he didn't pick the music to please his neighbors. Christian music is a growing genre, one that Schnepf has wanted to host for several years.

"Arizona doesn't have a Christian music event like this," Schnepf said. "And I was introduced to a promoter from California who was looking to bring that exact type of thing to Arizona."

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