November 26, 2014


Lorain gears up for Roverfest

LORAIN — Mayor Chase Ritenauer is fully aware of concerns over potential rowdiness and other problems Roverfest 2014 could bring to the downtown area.

But he believes the community needs to be open-minded when it comes to such events and their possible long-term benefits.

“I hope we can be part of a successful event that leads to opening ourselves up to others sponsored by Live Nation or Clear Channel,” Ritenauer said. “A lot of people want to see more events downtown.”

Live Nation and Clear Channel are entertainment promoters that stage major rock and pop concerts, among other live events.

Set for July 26, the festival will run 1 p.m. to midnight at Black River Landing. It will feature rock bands P.O.D. and Trapt, along with hip-hop artists T-Pain and Lil’ Jon.

The riverside setting will include food and drink vendors that will sell alcohol, which has concerned some including the Charleston Village Society, a group that works to promote and preserve the city’s oldest neighborhood in and near downtown.

The group has expressed concerns about security and parking near Black River Landing, as well as the landscaped area around Settler’s Watch west of City Hall, which includes monuments to area military veterans.

Roverfest is projected to attract 15,000 people, most in their late teens, 20s and 30s.

The festival is the brainchild of Shane “Rover” French, host of “Rover’s Morning Glory” radio show heard on 100.7 WMMS-FM in Cleveland — where the event was held for six years before this summer’s move to Lorain.

Charleston Village Society co-chairwoman Loraine Ritchey said in a statement Tuesday that the group has reservations about parking and overflow crowds of people who come to town with no festival tickets.

“I hope the ‘exposure’ is a positive one for the city, and that is the only exposures we have to deal with considering the marketing of the event,” Ritchey said, referring to the festival’s advertising that includes images of scantily-clad women. “The bar has been set low, but we will see.”

French said by phone Tuesday that he had spoken with Ritchey about the group’s concerns.

“I let her know where we are coming from, and that we are going to work with them to address any concerns,” French said. “I anticipate a smooth and very successful event.

“We’ve had literally hundreds of emails. There’s a big level of excitement from the area,” he said.

City officials are awaiting a final site plan from promoters of Roverfest spelling out specific locations for food and beverage vendors.

That data will help officials plan where to station police and private security personnel, especially for vendors selling alcohol, Lorain Port Authority Director Rick Novak said.

The city is working to ensure it will have adequate police and emergency personnel in place, Ritenauer said.

Roverfest promoters have visited Black River Landing several times. “They are doing their homework,” Novak said.

French agreed that providing adequate parking for the thousands of out-of-towners expected to visit Lorain does pose a potential headache.

“It’s a fantastic location, but parking could be a problem,” French said.

He and other festival planners expect to meet this week with city officials to discuss the issue.

Ritenauer said being able to attract nationally known bands or other big entertainers isn’t a farfetched goal.

“You look at the back of (concert tour) T-shirts and the names of some towns are not big cities. They’ve made a niche for being a stop on such tours,’’ he said.

French said he is aware that this event could set the stage for future events for the city.

“I know the city is eager to show they are able to host large events successfully,” French said.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or

  • herekitttykaate


  • oldruss

    Good luck with that.
    (BTW – why aren’t they staging Roverfest in Cleveland where they staged it for the last six years?)

    • Chan

      It’s hasn’t been in Cleveland the past six years consecutively.

      • oldruss

        From the article:

        “The festival is the brainchild of Shane “Rover” French, host of “Rover’s Morning Glory” radio show heard on 100.7 WMMS-FM in Cleveland — WHERE THE EVENT WAS HELD FOR SIX YEARS BEFORE THIS SUMMER’S MOVE TO LORAIN.” [emphasis added]

        If I misinterpreted that, mea culpa. But whether or not it was six CONSECUTIVE years seems rather beside the point. Why did Roverfest relocate out of Cuyahoga County, altogether, to what is really not a particularly accessible location in Lorain, Ohio?

        • Chan

          A lot of times “Clevelanders” group anything East of Lorain County as Cleveland when that isn’t the case at all. I went a few years back when it was in Eastlake (Lake County).
          FYI: I commented because I knew something to be personally not true with your statement and was only correcting it. Regardless of how you received your information doesn’t change the fact that it was inaccurate.

          • oldruss

            Which still belies the point, why move it out of Cuyahoga County (or Lake County) out here to the “sticks”?

          • Kathy Tague

            from what they said on the show, the place they had it the last few years is under construction.

          • Sue

            It was always at Voinovich Park downtown, with the exception of the 1 year it was in Eastlake. Voinivich Park is under construction this year, that’s why they moved location.

          • oldruss

            Okay, move out of Voinovich Park; but why come all the way out here? Was it because nobody in all of Cuyahoga County or Lake County would have it? There are any number of venues more centrally located than the Black River Landing, Lorain, Ohio.

          • Sue

            Because it’s a very large, but contained – and beautiful venue. Why would anyone do anything anywhere? I’m not sure what your point is.

          • oldruss

            My point Sue, is that I’m leery of having a Roverfest in Lorain; and, that it is possible that it isn’t just a fluke that Roverfest is not being held in Cleveland this year.

          • Mark B

            Maybe because of Rovers run in with Cleveland PD

          • oldruss

            That seems to be a deep, dark, secret, that no one is talking about, Mark. Can you elaborate?

  • Denise Caruloff

    i spoke with mayor morley..where they had rover a few years back..i am posting a paragraph of what he had told me..Morley in in his mid 50′s if I recall..

    In mid April 2014, the studio had been
    covered in plastic. Each of Rover’s meat heads drank a gallon of milk with the goal
    of puking… then dumping it into a self~ concocted leaf blower and spraying it into the
    mouth of the another….which ended up all over them, including on the
    ceiling and everywhere.

    They seem to be obsessed with vomit and how
    many ways they can use it. Here is a link to another wonderful idea for vomit….
    (which I suspect there will be plenty of on the grasses of the Black River
    Landing this July. Perhaps someone from the crew can just scoop it up and use
    it again for another show). Just saying.

    I had spoken to the Mayor Morley of Eastlake weeks back as to see if he might share his feelings
    of the event since Rover Fest was held there on August 13, 2011 at Classic
    Park… I have heard it also called Captains field. Anyhow….it was simply
    stated, “one and done”. Not a fit for them. “F” bombs were heard
    loud and clear over the PA system. Officers telling girls to put their clothes
    back on, was the jest of it. . While here..I am hearing the LPD is being told
    to go easy on the crowd of the 26th….again how lovely.

    I have
    heard reasons why our city felt the need to host this even this year 2104..but
    none have been reason enough for me (and I know I am not alone ) to embrace
    this type of trash into our city and on to the banks of our Black River.
    If the bar is set this low…surly almost any future event would be a step
    up….As I have said… Trash in. Trash out.

    • Bob

      Tell me how many arrests were many AT Roverfest that year. Not after but during.

      As for the “F” bombs. Well DUH it is a CONCERT not a church service.

      Now on to the One and Done. I heard it was because the people at the ballpark where the festival was held that year. Had no idea how badly their baseball filed would get tore up by thousands of people walking on it. That sound that was their own fault.

      I just think it is funny that people are complaining about Roverfest being trouble into a town that has nothing but trouble.

      • Chan

        and let the church say AMEN!

      • herekitttykaate

        So what you are saying is, by your last line is if there is a fire, go ahead and add gasoline. No wonder you support the festival. Your logic says it all “Bob”. LOL!!

        • Pablo Jones

          Well if the fire is in Lorain…

        • oldruss

          Maybe the Hells Angels could be hired to maintain order like they did some years ago at a rock concert at the Altamont Speedway Free Concert in California.

        • Bob

          If that what you want to think I am saying, then that says a lot about the warped why you think.

          It’s going to happen and Lorain will make money. So everyone just need to deal with it.

          I support the festival, BECAUSE it’s good for a city were nothing good happens. At least not recently.

    • Sue

      The Roverfest crowd is the least of Lorain’s worries. There are kids playing in abandoned buildings at 9:30 at night finding dead bodies! Reality check!

  • Sis Delish

    Should be interesting if a whole convoy of Range Rover enthusiasts show up and confront the crowd…

  • Chan

    I’ve gone twice and have always found it entertaining and a bit interesting at times. Never have I witnessed fighting. I was given a ticket to this years but it conflicts with other plans, if anyone wants it let me know.

    • lotus

      I’d love the ticket Chan! I went last yr and loved it! Also I just moved out by Lorain so its perfect. Do you just have one? Email me please.

      • Chan

        I will email you.

        • lotus

          Thank you chan! I’m so exited! :) I’ll be waiting patiently for your email!!

  • Phil Blank

    They have sold both beer and wine down there in past functions, why worry about this one? Not getting any money from it?

    Read the news, Rover has had his problems with Cleveland cops in the past.

  • MrRespect

    The City should charge for parking at City owned lot’s such as City Hall parking lot and other lots the city owns in the near downtown area. Do you park for free in Cleveland……….I think not! The City owns lots on 6th St. and at the old library on 10th St. Let’s profit from the event.

    • oldruss

      Yes! And charge $20 or $25 per car, like the lots in Cleveland do whenever there’s an event at Progressive Field or at The Q.

  • dawgpound44035

    Lorain police are going to have a field day at this event. They are already bullies.