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Montgomery County Halts Music Fest Plans

A weekend-long music festival is scheduled for this Labor Day but, with just a few weeks to go, the county is putting an end to it.
/ Source: WSMV-TV

It's not Bonnaroo, but it's the closest Montgomery County has ever come to it. A weekend-long music festival is scheduled for this Labor Day but, with just a few weeks to go, the county is putting an end to it.

The talent has been booked, the date set and advertisements are all over the Internet. Plans for the first-ever Head Jamz festival were pretty much complete.

"We've already bought the chemicals to spray the complete farm two weeks in advance," said Mary Porter.

The area is large and secluded. The owner thought it was the perfect place for a festival, and it might have been, if not for one giant, legal hurtle: Those running the show don't have permission.

"We've done everything we thought legally that we had to do," said Porter.

But it is required to go in front of the Board of Zoning Appeals to receive approval.

The board planned a special meeting to decide the festival's fate. That meeting is scheduled for two days before the concert. And with several neighbors voicing concerns, the chances of a go-ahead from the board seem slim.

"I know the concert will probably be having some drinking, and there'll be people leaving and coming and going," said a neighbor.

"There are still questions out there that need to be answered," said Rod Sheeter, who oversees the Montgomery County Zoning Board.

With thousands of dollars on the line, Porter and other event planners decided not to risk losing the festival altogether. Instead, they came up with a last-minute Plan B: move to a new location.

But with marketing dollars already down the drain, the big concern now is whether people will even show up.

"It's just against what we had set out to do in the first place," said Porter. "It just breaks my heart."

The concert was supposed to kick off the opening of a campground on Porter's farm. Now the festival will be held in Adams, Tenn.