Mayor Paul Soglin joined Madison Police Lt. Kristen Roman and Majestic Theatre owners Scott Leslie and Matt Gerding Wednesday to discuss regulations and expectations for the Mifflin Street Block Party.
This year's block party will allow attendees of legal drinking age to drink within the boundaries of the event zone. Attendees who are of age will be given a wristband in order to identify themselves to the police.
The event zone stretches primarily from Broom Street to Bedford Street, Roman said. The new marked event zone area will give police and attendees clearer boundaries of where they can and cannot drink, Roman said.
Leslie said he and Gerding want to make sure the block party is focused on live music.
""It doesn't make sense to be producing live music if people feel like they can't go in the streets,"" Leslie said.
The new event zone, which will allow legal drinking on the streets, will bring people out from backyards and make it easier for them to enjoy the live music, Leslie said.
Soglin also brought up issues related to the cost of the event. Soglin said he wants attendees to stay safe at the event and, in doing so, help drive down the costs of the block party. The city is currently facing tough times and the event could be an opportunity for attendees to do something to improve the community, Soglin said.
""The less expenses we have related to misbehaving, the fewer problems we have pertaining to arrests, is going to mean more money that's available for everything from social services to doing real crime fighting in our community,"" Soglin said.
If the number of arrests is low, the city would be able to save money, Soglin said.
""Good behavior pays off,"" Soglin said.
Roman said police staffing for this year's block party will depend on previous years'.
""This year's staffing is comparable to past events with just a few minor adjustments in terms of the numbers of officers,"" Roman said.