Big electronic music festival planned for The Weirs in August

  • Published in Local News

LACONIA — This summer, The Weirs will be alive with the sound of music as the first Filterswep Electronic Music Festival is scheduled for August 10 and 11.

The festival is the work of Christina Contardo of Laconia, a principal of Laconia Bike Works who doubles as an attorney providing artist management for the music industry. She said that the events will feature deejays and producers of national and international renown "spinning" electronic tunes that get moving their feet, ...

LACONIA — This summer, The Weirs will be alive with the sound of music as the first Filterswep Electronic Music Festival is scheduled for August 10 and 11.

The festival is the work of Christina Contardo of Laconia, a principal of Laconia Bike Works who doubles as an attorney providing artist management for the music industry. She said that the events will feature deejays and producers of national and international renown "spinning" electronic tunes that get moving their feet, swinging their hips, shaking their heads and waving their arms in clubs and at festivals around the world.

"Think Electric Zoo in New York city and Camp Bisco upstate," Contardo said, pointing to a pair of similar festivals in the Northeast.

Contardo said that while the largest festivals draw crowds approaching 100,000, she hopes to tempt between 4,000 and 6,000 to Laconia during the two days of the event. "We plan on treading lightly, keeping it manageable in the first year and growing into it," she said.

Last week Contardo filed an application with the Planning Department to hold the festival on about 6.3-acres of  open ground southwest of Route 3 North, opposite Funspot, owned by Mike Foote, a member of Zoning Board of Adjustment. The venue is reached by an unpaved road off Route 3. The main stage would be set in the middle of the 325-foot by 850-foot rectangle serving as the festival grounds with a smaller covered stage just north of it. 

Contardo said that a number of neighboring businesses have indicated an interest in offering parking. Security would be provided by TNT Executive Services, LLC supplemented by police details if necessary. A pair of EMTs would be on the site throughout the event. And Contardo estimates between 50 and 75 porta-potties would  be needed, depending on the attendance.

"I absolutely do have my fingers crossed for the weather," Contardo confessed, but added "people coming to this kind of festival expect weather and can go either way."

"We think this festival, like Motorcycle Week, the Timberman Triathalon and Soulfest at Gunstock, is well-suited to the area," Contardo said. "It will draw a slightly different demographic, roughly between 18 and 35, than other events and, because of the nature of the music, new visitors to the region. It will give a boost to the economy before people go south or indoors for the winter."

Planning Director Shanna Saunders welcomed Contardo's initiative, which she said would attract people to the city and enliven the business community. Contardo said that she looked forward to working with Saunders and other city officials to ensure the success of the event. "If they can handle 100,000 bikers," she remarked, "I'm sure they can handle this."