A Row at the Riverfront: “No more BYOB at Yards Park Concert Series!”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Eric Wilfong

Update: Sign the change.or petition here.

“Dear PoPville,

Another blow struck against parents who want to act like responsible adults. The Friday night concert series now features Corona and Modelo beers exclusively, plus the fun of rent-a-cops searching your bags. I’m hoping the PoPville community can help contact the Riverfront BID and let them know what a terrible decision this was.”

image tweeted by @GarberDC

75 Comment

  • saw this coming. was a really great part of enjoying the outside concert series in the navy yard as opposed to the cramped “no alcohol” sculpture garden; however, saw this coming after seeing the mere inability of people to pack in and pack out their trash, including beverages. overall, it was embarrassing sight to see as the venue looked trashed.

    • A classic example of “this is why we can’t have nice things”… but if litter’s the only problem, why not hire someone to clean up during and after the concerts? The BID street cleaners are really thorough and probably a lot cheaper than the bag checkers would be.

    • So true. I hate to stereotype, but there are a lot of people out there who never learned to be responsible when it comes to cleaning up after themselves. I figure they all grew up with Mommy and Daddy cleaning up their messes.

      • It’s not stereotyping when you don’t put a description on the people you’re criticizing. I have no idea who you’re talking about.

        • I think the OP is talking about young professionals Instagram’ing their cheap wine bottles from TeeJays. You don’t see geriatrics and middle aged folks trashing public venues.
          Also, I think this would have happened even without the garbage. $$$ talks.

      • Usually Mommy and Daddy are the “screw ’em” types that enabled such behavior in the first place. Apples and trees and some such.

    • Um, logic : If alcohol was causing a safety issue, why are you promoting Mexican beers? If outside beverages were causing a mess, why are you allowing non-alcoholic beverages to be brought in? I don’t even understand how a public park can be managed by a greedy development company in the first place, and have people inspect my bag when I want to go enjoy a public park that was paid for with my tax dollars. I hope Michael Stevens shows up at the concert series so we can drown him out in booos. What a jerk.

  • Too bad! I don’t live near Navy Yard, and one of the appeals of this event (making it worth the trip from U Street) was bringing the beverage of my choice, be it a fancy cider or that bottle of wine I’d been saving to share with friends. This makes it less likely I will attend.

  • “Another blow struck against parents who want to act like responsible adults.” What does this have to do with parents specifically? Seems like it would affect all adult attendees.

    • Not sure this was a blow targeted specifically at parents… but this dog-mom and Aunt is sure disappointed. Modelo and Corona? No thanks.

    • Seems like someone can’t take a joke.

      • Not a very clever joke if it sounds to multiple people as though the OP is serious. (See also Formerly PVR’s comment below.)

        • Yeah, I don’t think it is a joke because parents and kids do dominate these events, but there are tons of other adults too.

          • I was just waiting for a whole side argument to break out:
            “You mean parents are bringing their kids to these events and drinking in front of them?? I don’t think that’s responsible parenting.”
            “Yes, it is!”
            “No, it isn’t!”
            “Do YOU have kids?”
            etc., etc.

      • I’ve never seen David Garber make a joke before so I assume it was a serious comment.

        • I don’t think it was Garber who contacted PoP. He just tweeted out the new regs, the image of which was copied on the post.

      • What is the joke?

  • I was too excited to see the Riverfront is offering Jazzercise classes to even notice this– I must be getting old!

  • Parents? I used to go to these all the time and we would BYOB as well. This is really crappy. Who wants to exclusively drink Modelo or Corona…is Donald Trump trying to prove something again?

  • maybe if they had chosen better beers….

  • This is so freaking disappointing. One of the reasons I loved Yards Park was the BYOB aspect. I had a feeling this was coming, but man. I mean that doesn’t stop most people I know from bringing their own booze in, just have to be more covert about it.

  • The message seems a little inconsistent. If it’s just about trash, I don’t see how selling people drinks in glass bottles or plastic cups will reduce the “footprint” any more than letting people bring their own drinks in bottles or plastic cups. I think Yards Park must have made out well in the exclusivity deal.

    • ah

      +1. that said, they probably signed a contract that obligated the beer vendors to clean up.

      • And the organizers probably perceive it as a win-win for them — presumably Modelo and Corona are paying for the right to be the exclusive vendor.

        • I’m actually ok with this if the BID makes a lot of money from the deal, and uses it to continue making the Riverfront awesome with lots of free programming. But I also happen to like drinking crap beer at outdoor events like this.

      • That’s the shortest “that said” I’ve ever seen.

    • I would assume less people would be purchasing booze=less trash? I admit I had concerns after the White Ford Bronco show last year. The trash cans were spilling over with cups and bottles.

      • White Ford Bronco was a sh*tshow on a lot of levels, since it seemed like there were 5 times as many people as any other Yards Park concert and it was a much rowdier crowd than usual. Usually the trash didn’t seem that bad to me.

        • I think they estimated 4000 people showed up for that…I’d guess that’s about 8x what normal attendance was last year. Def not prepared, but that was an anomaly.

  • ah

    Nothing against Corona and Modelo, whose beers have their role in responsible adult drinking, but they hardly provide a “beverage for every taste”, including people who want beer that tastes good, prefer wine, or just want to knock back some shots – responsibly of course.

  • Could complaining even accomplish anything at this point? I’m assuming the contracts have already been signed.

  • It did seem surreal to have such a pleasant BYOB experience last year. Was only a matter of time before Buzz Killington reported to duty.

  • If you can’t figure out how to smuggle your own booze into an outdoor concert you don’t deserve to have any.

    • +1000. This is what thermoses are for. And camelbacks. Hell even your run of the mill water bottle. Unless they block all outside liquid.

      • Vitamin water bottles are best. But in case they start cracking down, I’d go with a breast milk pump and little jars of pina colada.

    • Back when we used to go to jazz in the garden, we’d pre-make sangria in V8 bottles and smuggle it in. Never got caught.

    • But it was *nice* for it to be legitimate. Loved the BYOB vibe.

  • I would imagine one factor is the underwriting the organizers got from Modelo/Corona to grant exclusivity.

  • The least they could do if they have to make me buy overpriced beer is give me some options that don’t totally suck…

  • I share the general disdain for no BYOB policy here. But FWIW, the Constellation Brands folks who own Corona recently bought Ballast Point, so you’re likely to also have access to Sculpin, etc. (at a high price point, no doubt). http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-16/constellation-to-acquire-ballast-point-brewery-for-1-billion

    • +1. And it says they are going to serve wine. It isn’t literally going to be just Modelo Especial and Corona Extra. Sure, this is a little annoying, but its really not a big deal. And, like others have said, if it gets money for the BID to keep doing things like this, and if the contract includes trash pick-up, then more power to them.

  • clevelanddave

    I just love how the couch this in terms of the environment and keeping the place clean. Yea, and I suppose the cameras are for my safety and protection too. Those thoughts didn’t even enter the mind of the organizers until it came time to write the press release or print the sign. Lets not fool ourselves: this is all about the contract with the vendors and the $$$ for the venue. Just say it like it is and cut the BS.

    • Agree – they started these events off as BYOB to bring some of the Jazz in the Garden crowd that were tired of buying overpriced drinks down to the Navy Yard. It was also a win because people would stay in the area after the shows ended for the restaurants. Now that the concert series and area itself have gained in popularity, they pull the old bait and switch.

  • This plus metro hassles make it an easy decision to stop attending. Congrats organizers – hope that’s what you were going for!

  • Only tangentially related due to the person who tweeted, but PoP, any chance we could get Q&A’s on here with the at-large candidates before the election?

    • Yes, please

    • Not the same as a PoPville Q&A, but — in case you’re interested — on Mon. 5/9, there will be a forum of candidates for at-large council seats at 6:30 pm at the Bruce Monroe/Park View Schoo (3560 Warder St. NW):
      The Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force and the Park View United Neighborhood Coalition will host an At-Large Candidates Forum on Monday May 9th at 6:30pm at the Bruce Monroe @ Park View School – 3560 Warder St. NW. The following candidates will be present:
      David Garber
      CM Vincent Orange
      Robert White

      • Thanks, I appreciate it. I feel I am fairly well-informed on local politics, but I haven’t been seeing a ton of info on the candidates, and it seems to be a pretty decent race.

  • Count me in the “totally fine with this” crowd. I love this concert series and frankly prefer not to lug my own drinks. I recall the beer prices being reasonable for DC too.

    • Why lug your own drinks? There’s a Harris Teeter right there. I’m sure beer prices will be going up as well since they now have exclusivity.

    • I could see the prices being jacked up. Also between choosing a $5.00 bottle of beer or $10.00 for a sixpack, I’d rather go sixpack. Not too mention, now there are going to be lines. I hope they will have stands scattered throughout the park, lest we have a Jazz in the Garden situation.

      • The lines at Jazz in the Garden were more of an impediment to me than the prices. 30 damn minutes just to get a pitcher of sangria.

    • maxwell smart

      AND correct me if I am wrong, but in years past they did have beer or wine available for purchase, usually something local.

      • Correct. They had beverage vendors last year and the first few years in addition to BYOB. 2014 was strictly BYOB, due to the local restaurants putting the kibosh on the beer vendors. This year will be the first year BYOB is forbidden.

        • maxwell smart

          I think we can all agree this is a huge mistake, but given the amount of growth in the area, I am sure it will remain fairly popular, but I would guess it becomes less of a draw for people who don’t live in the area. No offense to the bands, but all of the times I went is largely just to have a nice picnic on the water with friends with some background entertainment.

    • The whole point of nixing the BYOB is to make $$. Prices will be jacked and attendance will go down. Greed is a bummer

  • Not uncommon for concert venues to limit and control the concessions. Kinda par for the course and in line with Merriweather Post Pavilion and the like. Usually can find a way to sneak a pint in the venue in most cases.

    • Um no disrespect to White Ford Bronco and the other fine cover bands that play this series, but I wouldn’t put them on par with the bands that play at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Although I’m sure the beer prices will be about the same

      • For people that regularly go to these concerts– which bands are the best? I generally like covers from the 60’s-80’s, 90’s R&B, jazz, classical, and reggae. This year they don’t seem to have the list in a format that indicates what genre of music the band is.

  • What a shame, but as soon as I heard it was BYOB I started wondering how long that would last. This will cut attendance in half, if not more. I certainly never went for the bands

  • Oh this really stinks! I love these events but I don’t like beer. Less incentive for me to go now.

  • Once the young kid-free group found out about yards park, it was ruined for us old folks. We relied on it as the one place to let our children act like animals and get drunk while yelling at our significant others to pay attention to the children.

    It was the greatest collective parenting experiment ever. RIP Yards Park.

  • I wouldn’t mind paying if they could serve me without my having to wait on line for 40 minutes. That’s half the concert away from my group. That’s why I bring my own food too. I would love to enjoy some of the food truck foods that have been there in past years, but they cannot keep up with the demand and the wait is ridiculous when the whole point is to enjoy time with friends.
    I’m just going to smuggle my booze in my breast milk. So no change for me.

  • How crappy, one of the only relaxed events without greed and structure governing over it and now it’s gone.

  • For a couple years, Bluejacket was out selling beer on tap. We actually preferred buying it there and didn’t take advantage of the BYOB. Corona and Medelo were out there last year – they also offered wine – and it was all total shit.

  • Petition to reverse the BYOB decision. Dan, can you update your post to push people to this. 500 signatures and counting in just a few hours!


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