Liquor control fines boosters
HEBRON - The Ohio Division of Liquor Control fined the Lakewood Athletic Boosters for two violations during a fundraiser at last July’s Allgood Festival, but the money won’t come from the organization’s pockets.
“We were given our decision by the alcohol control board during Christmas break,” said booster president Kevin Krier. “We were fined $1,500 for the two violations. We’ve paid this and the concert promoters have agreed to reimburse us.” Krier said the boosters would return to Allgood this year a little wiser.
The boosters raised nearly $10,000 for Lakewood athletic programs at the All Good Music Festival & Campout, which began July 19 at Legend Valley in Thornville, by staffing a beer tent. However, the group also received two administrative citations from the Ohio Division of Liquor Control for permit violations.
This was the first year Legend Valley hosted the 40,000 fan event, which moved from a West Virginia mountainside following a tragic accident in 2011.
Here’s what happened. Temporary liquor permits are only issued to nonprofit organizations. Consequently, the Allgood promoter could not qualify. Lakewood Athletic Boosters, who had two disappointing major ticket drawings in the last two years and are trying to raise thousands for athletic transportation, could and did get a temporary liquor permit for the main stage area.
In return for providing the permit, concert promoters agreed to donate to the Boosters reportedly $10 per hour for every hour Booster volunteers staffed the main stage area beer booths.
Bringing outside alcohol into the main stage area is strictly prohibited according to festival rules. Festival security was responsible for checking fans as they entered the area. Bringing outside liquor into any permitted liquor establishment - in this case the main stage area - is also prohibited by Ohio law.
On two days during the fourday Allgood weekend, undercover agents with the Ohio Investigative Unit found a fan consuming alcohol that had been illegally brought into the main stage area. As the liquor permit holder, Lakewood Athletic Boosters received two administrative citations just as any liquor permit holder would under the same circumstances.
Krier said the boosters understood that violations were bound to happen even before the event took place and asked the promoter to reimburse the boosters if such violations occurred.
“We asked the promoters to agree to reimburse us because with an event as big as the Allgood Festival there was a chance that one of the 40,000 attendees would violate the liquor law and we would get a citation,” said Krier Tuesday. “We also knew that we had very little effective control over who security let in and what that person would have with them.” He said the promoter gave the boosters a document listing all of the security arrangements in place to ensure that this would not happen. “Their security people did not follow through on their own regulations,” said Krier. “It was agreed that if a violation occurred that was not the fault of the Lakewood Athletic Boosters that the promoters would pay the fine.”
Krier said this summer the boosters plan to participate at the festival again. “Last year all of our people (from Lakewood) attended a meeting with an Ohio Liquor Control Agent the night before the festival to go over all of the dos and don’ts for serving alcohol,” he said. “We are going to ask that all of the other vendors send their people to that same meeting. We are also going to ask that all of the ‘security’ people hired by the promoters also attend. I along with several of my officers will also make periodic checks on the other vendors to make sure they are doing everything by the book this time,” said Krier. “I am sure we will come up with some other changes as well.”
Krier continued, “I’m not sure there is any way I or anyone else can guarantee that no violations will occur next year. However, we are a year smarter this time around and we know what to look for and how to deal with it. I can guarantee that no Lakewood Athletic Booster will violate the law in any way.”