Black Music Festival returns to Pittsburgh, organizers worried about city’s lack of resources – WPXI

Black Music Festival returns to Pittsburgh, organizers worried about city’s lack of resources

PITTSBURGH — The stage is set for the Pittsburgh Black Music Festival.

But the cost of security takes center stage as fears over large gatherings continue to resonate after a July 4 mass shooting.

“The city told me they would not support this event,” said festival organizer William Marshall.

Marshall says safety is his biggest concern for the roughly 60,000 people who will be heading to the Pittsburgh Black Music Festival at Point State Park this weekend.

Marshall tells Channel 11 that the city does not allow him to use city services like barricades, paramedics and cleanup crews.

He also says that a day before the event starts, he is still trying to determine what the police presence will be.

“Whenever we do an event like this, we think of mass shootings or racial shootings. We just had a 4th of July incident. A guy fired at the community marching in the parade. That’s why I’m asking the city to help us,” Marshall said.

We emailed Pittsburgh Police and Mayor Ed Gainey’s office.

A city spokesperson responded, “As with any event like this festival, the city is providing police as security based on a matrix from the Department of Public Safety, and we are offering the use of Pittsburgh police officers at cost. to the organizers of the event.”

“We’re a very easy target, and if you don’t think it’s important to secure this event, I don’t know what to say,” Marshall said.

Marshall tells us that he pays for his security and that there will also be a handful of park rangers at Point State Park.

Although this has been the city’s standard practice for independent events at Point State Park in recent years, Marshall said the city’s police officers are paid by taxpayers’ money – and this event will bring in more money. in the city.

The festival starts at 11 a.m.

Musical acts take the stage from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Thursday through Sunday evenings.

Download the FREE WPXI News App for the latest news alerts.

Follow Channel 11 news on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch WPXI NOW