‘Loud Fest’ planned for Akron’s Rubber Bowl, despite police concerns and no electricity

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AKRON, Ohio - The Rubber Bowl in Akron once hosted football games, concerts and more. But for years the deteriorating stadium has been sitting silent.

Now managed by Canton's Team 1 Marketing, the stadium is privately owned and in disrepair. A 19-year-old promoter from Solon wants to breathe new life into the old stadium by using it to host a concert on Friday called "Loud Fest 2015."

"I want everybody to come together. I want everybody to have a great time and I want everybody to leave and feel like they have been a part of something. I don't want anybody to feel left out and I want everybody to be themselves," D'Angelo Williams said.

Williams put together a lineup of artists, many of them Cleveland-area rappers, to help give them exposure. The audience could also expect to get sprayed with a biodegradable paint as part of the entertainment.

"It's going to be clean. It's going to be fun and energetic. We are going to take all the precautions to make sure the artists know that our message is to make sure everybody has a good time and to make it clean and safe," Williams said.

But Akron Police Captain Dan Zampelli said there are a lot of issues that need to be worked out with the city before an event can be held there, and the promoters did not give the city any notice of their plans.

The Rubber Bowl does not have electricity so the promoter must bring in generators.  It also does not have running water so the promoters will have to provide enough portable bathrooms for the audience, which is expected to be around 1,000 people as of Tuesday.

City inspectors have also given the promoter a list of items they need to address with the crumbling stadium itself before they will authorize its use for a concert.

Zampelli said no one will be allowed in the bleachers or in the areas underneath the stands because of safety issues.

"Even if they do address those problems, that still doesn't address a number of other issues such as security at the event, such as traffic issues at the event, such as parking at the event," Zampelli said.

"Even if they can address the repair issues that the fire department may have, we still have a number of issues that need to be resolved before they have a concert. So all we are doing is asking that they postpone this concert until we can address those other issues and make it a win-win for everybody and a safe environment for everybody."

The Rubber Bowl's neighbors are also worried about the proposed concert.

"We have concerns about the noise problems and in looking at some recent videos they have of the loud fest (performers,) some of the music has very vulgar language. Although they are saying they are going to tone that down, which is fine, but we want more time to be able to prepare for this," Zampelli said.

Williams said he and his associate have contacted all of the performers and requested that they keep their act clean.

Fox 8 News spoke with two of the performers, Tra-V The Great and EZZY, both from Cleveland. Both said the request to refrain from using vulgarity is reasonable and they are willing to comply.

"Especially being an all-age event, I consider that it's not too much to ask for from any of the other performers. I definitely agree with wanting to keep it clean," EZZY said.

Among the things the city can control is the parking. All of the lots around the stadium are owned by the city and Zampelli said they are prepared to close the lots to prevent anyone from using them for the concert.

The All American Soap Box Derby, which is right next door, will be holding events there on Friday. Racers and visitors will also need somewhere to park.

"We have to determine what legal rights we have as a city to either prevent them from having the event or if they do have the event and we can't stop them, then make sure that we are monitoring and hold them accountable for the event," Zampelli said.

"If we have to change (the location), we will because we understand the impact of this whole event to the community so as of right now it is in the fire marshal's hands as if this will be a safe environment for people to come in and I will go by whatever they say above anything else," Williams. said.

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