Joel Plant, the city's alcohol policy coordinator and key organizer of its Halloween plans, unveiled the music and entertainment promoter for the festivities on State Street. It is John Kunz, who has previously worked with the Taste of Madison and Alpine Valley, Plant explains. Kunz has also worked for Clear Channel Entertainment in Milwaukee, helping to organize major touring shows in that city's largest venues.
"He approached us several months back and offered his services," Plant says. Kunz was "happy" to assist the city on providing entertainment during the Halloween festivities scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 28, when State Street will fenced off and accessible only to persons holding tickets. The essential element of Kunz's involvement is that he will be the person acquiring street use permits for the stage areas that night.
"This is important because we've had several people who have expressed interest," Plant says, "but it was Kunz who came forward to place his name to the permit." At this point, the scope of the permit has yet to be determined between Kunz and the relevant city agencies (such as the police, fire and parks departments). "From what I understand, his interest is to have it be like the [music at] Taste of Madison," Plant says. "They're not huge stages, and they allow fire lanes to remain open."
Plant elaborates on Kunz's relationship with the city with regards to the event. "The city has not hired him, and has not contracted him," Plant says. "But he is taking it off the city's lap, as we're not coordinating entertainment regardless."
However, the city will be working to assist with the entertainment during the evening of Oct. 28. As delineated in charts in the city parks office that are serving as an employee guide, one department supervisor is set to serve as "Stage Area Leader" and has the primary responsibility of setting up the stages. Other listed responsibilities include providing electric access to the stage areas, helping order and organize portable toilets in these areas, providing backstage fencing, and working with mayoral staff (namely Mario Mendoza) and city parks superintendent Jim Morgan "to go over any possible needs of the bands."
The planning for the party is already visible on State Street. Every intersection in the downtown channel is marked with hot pink paint, denoting where the fences and gates will be established. Examples can be viewed in the photo gallery at top right.
The stages themselves are planned for the blocks of Gorham and Mifflin streets directly on the north side of State. The Gorham stage will be adjacent to the Buckeye Parking Lot (between Gorham and Gilman), a prime location for setting up the necessary equipment. Likewise, the Mifflin stage will be located near the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, adjacent to the access points located at the three other intersections at the very top of State Street.
The music isn't set yet, however, with no updates provided by the UW student-led Halloween Action Committee or their promotional partners in Ad2Madison. More details should be available in coming days, however.