Annual Allston DIY Festival and Concert Denied Permit to Hold Event

City officials say in the past, neighbors have complained about noise, trash and overcrowding.

An annual Allston music and skill-shares gathering founded on “punk, anarcho-communist, anti-authoritarian” values is in jeopardy this year as organizers try and convince city officials to allow them to return to their usual meeting spot.

The Allston Do It Yourself (DIY) Festival, which has been held at Ringer Park for the last few years, was recently denied a permit by the Parks and Recreation Department because of prior noise complaints, trash left at the site, and a failure to accurately fulfill their permit requirements, officials said Tuesday.

According to Jackie Goddard, spokesperson for the department, during last year’s festival police had “so many calls” that it required officers to meet with organizers after the event to talk about ways to improve the meet-up in the future. But when organizers applied for a permit this year, not only were noise, illegal parking and overcrowding a concern, Goddard says they also failed to tell the truth about the number of attendees expected. “They were low-balling attendance, because previous years they had 1,000 people at the concert. For public safety reasons, they denied the permit,” she says.

In an effort to change the minds of City Hall workers and the police, the brains behind the annual punk-rock centric gathering have begun an online petition in hopes that they can reclaim the space for another year. Repeated attempts to speak with organizers of the DIY festival were unsuccessful.

On the petition website, organizers said:

This year’s festival—should our permits be approved—will be comprised of neighbors, local musicians and artists, Boston Public School students and their families, as well as local organizations and community based charities. If the community can’t use the park, who can—and what is it there for? This is a petition not just for our festival, but for all events in the park.

Goddard says the Parks Department has offered to work with the group to find a more suitable location for the festivities, however, the group instead decided to launch their online campaign. “[On Monday] the Parks Department had a ‘coffee hour’ for residents to come and talk to them, and some of the organizers came to the event and talked to the Parks and Recreation commissioner. The commissioner told the group she would be happy to meet for finding alternative locations, and they still wanted to talk about Ringer Park, and said they would talk about the issue amongst themselves and get back to the department.”

If the group can’t find a compromise with the city, and the event is a bust this summer, local music promoters and Allston residents, like Perry Eaton, say they will be disappointed. “It’s one of Boston’s best events of the year…I’m kind of bummed it’s being held up right now,” says Eaton, who runs the popular blog, which promotes local musicians. “The music is great, it gives small-time bands a bigger stage to show their stuff, but above that there are community organizations, causes, skill-shares and workshops that not only increase awareness about certain things, but show what the young community has to offer. It shows that they care about social and community things. It’s the only place and event in town where those things come together and it makes for a really cool event.”

Eaton says he has high hopes that the rift between the city and organizers of the Allston DIY Fest can make amends to find the best option for the event to move forward. “I know from my perspective there has never been any reason for that event to be looked at as rowdy or too loud, or not playing by the rules in any capacity so I would see no reason why it shouldn’t happen,” he says.