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Governor's Ball founders petition NYC mayor's office to block new festival plans

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Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Earlier this fall, reports surfaced that production company AEG would aim to bring a new music festival to New York City next summer. Now Founders Entertainment, which produces New York festival Governor’s Ball, has launched a Change.org petition asking Mayor Bill DeBlasio to reject the plan, which would put AEG’s festival two weeks after Governor’s Ball. The Gov Ball team wrote a letter urging “Fans, Supporters, and Fellow Music Lovers” to rally behind their festival.

“The timing of this proposed event is an aggressive, greedy attempt by AEG to push a small independent company of born and bred New Yorkers out of business and out of the market,” they wrote. The festival was founded in 2011 and has featured headliners like Drake, Kanye West, and Kings of Leon.

When reports of AEG’s plans surfaced, Founders’ Tom Russell told the Daily News, “The timing of this corporate-run festival would threaten our ability as a small business to continue putting on the kind of event that has showcased the best artists, created hundreds of local jobs and put millions of dollars back into the city’s economy.”

AEG did not return EW’s request for comment.

Founders’ letter to fans is reprinted below:

To the Fans, Supporters, and Fellow Music Lovers,

We’re writing you today to ask for your support to help keep Gov Ball alive for many years to come. We started the festival back in 2011 with one goal in mind: to bring a major music festival that New Yorkers could call their own to our hometown. One that was specifically curated for the eclectic music lovers of New York City. One that featured the very best of NYC cuisine. And one that operated with the attendee experience as the #1 priority.

As a small, independent company in an industry dominated by major corporations and rapid consolidation, we’ve come a long way and given hundreds of thousands of you first class entertainment. Sadly, today our future is in jeopardy and we need your help.

As reported in The Daily News and multiple industry news outlets, AEG is lobbying the Mayor’s Office and other city agencies for approval of a major festival in Flushing Meadows Park in Queens two weeks after Governors Ball. The timing of this proposed event is an aggressive, greedy attempt by AEG to push a small independent company of born and bred New Yorkers out of business and out of the market.

We are writing you today to ask for your support and tell the Mayor’s Office and the City of New York to reject this proposed event that would take place two weeks after Gov Ball. We are asking that this proposed event take place at another time of year because this would allow both events to succeed. Please help Gov Ball survive and continue to serve you – the fans, friends, and family – for many years to come!

Sign the petition now.

With Sincerity, and Gratitude,

Team Gov Ball

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