FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 30, 2014
A Message from Bethlehem Police on Musikfest 2014
It’s that time of year again. Musikfest 2014 is about to open within the week. Every year Musikfest brings in 850,000 to 1,000,000 people to the City of Bethlehem to partake in “America’s Largest Outdoor Music Festival.”
Musikfest encompasses two large areas of the City; on the south side by Steel Stacks and on the north side along the downtown Main Street area and the Monocacy Creek, Johnston Park area.
Bethlehem Police Officers, Firefighters and EMS will be assigned to all areas of Musikfest to help you. Police Officers will be on foot, on bicycles, in vehicles, on motorcycles and on horseback. If you have a problem, they are there to assist you. Muiskfest personnel are also on hand to assist you. And remember, if you have an emergency, dial 911 on your cell phone and we will respond to your emergency.
Every year, arrests do happen at Musikfest. Needless to say, your behavior has to stand out from the crowd in order for you to be arrested during the festival. That being said, we would appreciate your cooperation. We want everyone to enjoy themselves and have a good time, right up to the point when it is time to go home. All we are asking for is your cooperation so that your visit to Musikfest is remembered as a safe and enjoyable experience.
There is an Open Container Ordinance in the City of Bethlehem which prohibits people from carrying an open container of alcohol in a public place. This ordinance is not in effect at a location for which a special occasion permit has been issued by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (Musikfest). The permitted area only encompasses the actual Musikfest areas on the north side and the south side. We understand that people like to walk in between the Musikfest locations.
While the current laws do not allow for anyone to carry an open container of alcohol outside of the Musikfest venues, we suggest that you finish your beer at the Musikfest location you are visiting before traveling to your next location. The best piece of advice to offer is this: If you and your friends are peacefully walking down the street between Musikfest locations drinking from your Musikfest Mugs, no problem. If you are walking down a city street drinking a bottle of Beer or a fifth of Whiskey, screaming at people, jumping out into traffic, drawing attention to yourself and others, you can expect a visit from one of our Officers. In short, if your behavior doesn’t attract our attention in a negative fashion, you will most likely be OK.
Last year there was much consternation about whether you could walk across the Fahy Bridge with a Musikfest mug, since it is technically outside of the Musikfest area. Out of the hundreds of people who did so, not one was stopped or arrested by the police. It’s simple, just remember drink and act responsibly.
Some people will refill their Musikfest mug with beer or a malt beverage inside one of the area establishments and leave to attend the festivities at Musikfest. PA Liquor Control Enforcement laws prohibit anyone from leaving an establishment with liquor or wine. That is State Law.
Out of the arrests made last year, the most frequently cited section was Disorderly Conduct. This is primarily used for people who are disturbing the peace, physically fighting, yelling obscenities towards others, and creating problems. The type of behavior will not be tolerated and will result in your arrest.
The next type of arrest is for Underage Drinking. This violation will always result in your arrest and removal from the festival. Despite how old you think you look, you look really young to us and probably don’t have much of an ability to behave properly after drinking. We know the backpack trick, the water bottle trick, and quite a few others. This one is very simple, if you are under 21, don’t drink at Musikfest, or anywhere else in the City of Bethlehem.
Public Drunkenness is another type of arrest made at Musikfest. This is usually for people who are passed out, vomiting, or who can barely walk. Again, if you behave in a manner that does not attract our attention in a negative way, or are creating a hazard to yourself or others, you will most likely be OK. If you become intoxicated, have a friend quietly walk or get you home.
Driving Under the Influence – DUI. These arrests occur all year in Bethlehem and throughout the Lehigh Valley. We understand, it’s Summer. It’s Hot. You just got done with a hard day at work and you and your friend come to Musikfest. Those cold beers go down very easy. We understand that people are going to consume alcoholic beverages. All we ask is that you drink responsibly. Don’t risk your life and the lives of others by driving drunk. Its not worth it. Call a friend, Take a taxi. Walk home. Please do not hurt yourself or your family or anyone else or their family by driving drunk. Be responsible. Please do not drink and drive.
Transportation and Parking:
Parking fines are increased during the festival because the year-round residents of Bethlehem were subject to some of the more bizarre parking behaviors ever seen. In the years before the increased fines, we had people parking in other people’s driveways, front lawns and sidewalks. Please be considerate of others when you chose a parking space. If you are coming from out of the area, the best solution is to use one of the Musikfest Satellite Parking areas. If you are in town, the Bethlehem Parking Authority has many lots that are available and convenient. In short, there are many close, convenient, secure places to park your car. Again please be considerate. If you are not, you will get ticketed and possibly towed.
A Final note, on behalf of the City of Bethlehem Police Department and all its Officers and 911 Staff working Musikfest, We hope you have a great time at Musikfest. There are many acts and shows for you and your friends and families to enjoy.
Please drink and act responsibly. Enjoy yourself and be safe.
Thank You in advance for your Cooperation.
Mark A. DiLuzio
Chief of Police
City of Bethlehem