OXFORD — Those hoping to attend the 2011 Nateva Festival now have a date to mark on the calendar.

According to an e-mail sent late Tuesday to last year’s festival attendees, the second Nateva Festival will take place Aug. 4 to 7 at the Oxford Fairgrounds off Pottle Road.

Tickets for three and four-day passes will go on sale at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 4. The cheapest tickets will be $159 plus fees, and VIP passes are priced at $425 plus fees.

The band list has not yet been finalized, according to the e-mail.

The 2010 Nateva Festival, the first in what organizers plan to be an annual event, drew nearly 10,000 people on July 1 to 4. It featured dozens of performers on several stages, including Further, George Clinton, The Flaming Lips and Jakob Dylan.

Nateva organizers said they sold tickets from across the United States and in countries, including Japan and England.

Nateva Festival President Frank Chandler, a former vice president at Boston Capital Corp., told the Sun Journal in October he lost a “significant” amount of money with the 2010 festival. He said he wanted to move the festival away from the Fourth of July weekend. More than 1,300 surveys returned by concert-goers said the holiday was a bad time for the event, he said.

Area businesses reported more foot traffic during last year’s festival. Concert-goers parked at Oxford Plains Speedway and were bused to the fairgrounds on SAD 17 buses. The school district was compensated for the buses and drivers by the promoter. Chandler later gave the school district $5,000 for updates to the sound system in the auditorium at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School.

Some who live near the Oxford Fairgrounds complained of noise and people near their houses. The Oxford Planning Board has since written a proposed ordinance that would require that neighbors be informed of the public hearing for the mass gathering permit. A public hearing on the proposed ordinance and other changes is set for Jan. 6.

More than 20 attendees were charged with drug possession and trafficking charges over the weekend.

Another controversy arose at last year’s festival when Maine Department of Environmental Protection employees visiting the fairgrounds found that forested wetlands had been cut without the required permit.

Almost 15,000 square feet of freshwater wetlands had been cut, stumped and filled for use by campers. Another 58,000 square feet of wetlands had been cut but not stumped. The Oxford County Agricultural Society, which owns the fairgrounds, applied for an after-the-fact permit to fill in the 15,000 feet and submitted a plan to restore the land that had been cut.

That permit was rejected in October. The Agricultural Society has been working with the DEP to restore the site.


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