Tampa Shows To Go On Despite Lawsuit

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Hillsborough County commissioners reversed an earlier decision on Thursday, agreeing not to seek a temporary injunction to halt concerts at the Ford Amphitheatre until after the 2005 Florida State Fair despite a pending lawsuit against Clear Channel Entertainment, the owner of the venue.

The commissioners, acting as the Environmental Protection Commission, based their decision about the CCE-owned shed on the Florida State Fair Authority’s agreement to cooperate with EPC restrictions and guidelines to keep noise levels at the fairgrounds within legal limits.

The venue, which has received 160 noise complaints since its opening last July, will have to end concerts by 10 p.m., install 8-foot-tall sound blankets around the perimeter of the theater, station sound-monitoring technicians at the mixing booth and in surrounding neighborhoods, and not use any elevated lawn speakers.

The state fair, which runs from February 10-21, will be hosting concerts by Travis Tritt, the Neville Brothers, Country Gold Salutes the Grand Ole Opry, and the Newsboys. Both the venue and the EPC will be strictly monitoring the shows to ensure that no further problems arise.

Following the completion of the fair, the EPC plans to continue litigation against the theater. The EPC filed a lawsuit against the CCE, along with the planned temporary injunction, because they would not agree to the EPC’s requests. A hearing was initially scheduled for January 14, but was postponed multiple times to allow the parties adequate time to prepare. The hearing is now scheduled for February 26, which would be the day of the first concert after the fair. The EPC has stated that it does plan to seek the temporary injunction to stop concerts after the fair until the lawsuit is complete. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers

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