Music Festivals

Even Its Most Outspoken Opponent Agrees: Grandoozy Was a Success

Despite some hiccups, neighbors say Grandoozy went off without a hitch.
Despite some hiccups, neighbors say Grandoozy went off without a hitch. Michael Emery Hecker
Helene Orr has spent the better part of twenty years advocating for her neighborhood. She fought to push the Environmental Protection Agency to remove radioactive waste nearby in the ’90s, and when Superfly announced plans to take over Overland Park Golf Course, which is just across West Jewell Avenue from her home, in mid-September, she fought like hell to keep the music festival and its thousands of rowdy fans out of her little pocket of Denver.

But on Monday, September 17, the day after the first-time festival had wrapped, Orr had one point to convey: The festival's promoter, Superfly, mitigated the chaos as best it could and was responsive to the neighborhood.

"I don't lie," she says. "I'm not going to say something different to maintain my argument."

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Terry Pasqua and Paul Bodor in their front yard, which looks over Overland.
Courtesy of Paul Bodor
While some local media outlets have focused on the minor gripes Orr had with the festival — yes, some guys stumbled into her lawn chairs and pissed in her front yard — she mostly laughs at the inconveniences. "Those were to be expected," she says.

Even the unexpected got addressed quickly. Orr says she woke up Saturday to a "BOOM BOOM BOOM" soundcheck — that began at 8 a.m. She messaged David Ehrlich, Superfly's liaison for the neighbors, asking if the soundcheck could start an hour later the next day. Not only did Ehrlich come through, but Orr also suspects the music wasn't as loud. When the crowd wildly poured out into the neighborhood on Friday night after the festival had ended, neighbors complained, and the Denver Police Department beefed up its security measures on Saturday and Sunday and prevented all but a few disruptions, Orr says.

Her neighbors to the west, Paul Bodor and Terry Pasqua, were probably the biggest proponents of the music festival, and both were singing Grandoozy's praises on Monday. Bodor says they had a party at their home four nights in a row and even argues that the overall noise level "was in ways easier to deal with than during a busy golfing weekend." His only gripe? Sunday headliner "Stevie Wonder almost felt dated to me at my 73 years."

A spokesperson for Superfly says 55,000 attended the festival over the weekend. Orr says if Grandoozy returns to Overland at capacity, it would be nothing short of a "nightmare."

But for now, Orr is looking forward to getting some rest and relaxation. Superfly has spent the better part of September setting up for the music festival, and Orr is looking forward to the day when the tractor and car traffic ends. She expects all traces of the festival will be gone by October.

"I'm exhausted just hearing the constant noise," she says, as a loud semi goes down her street. "But the main takeaway for me is that [Superfly] has done an incredibly professional job. They're experts and they know what they're doing. [But] it'll be nice to think about something else for a while. Do some drawing, listen to some music!" 
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Ana Campbell has been Westword's managing editor since 2016. She has worked at magazines and newspapers around the country, picking up a few awards along the way for her writing and editing. She grew up in south Texas.
Contact: Ana Campbell

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