SFVAS Response to the Problematic AngelFest “Environmental Assessment”

The case for siting the AngelFest music event in Sepulveda Flood Control Basin's Woodley Park is embodied in a “Draft Environmental Assessment” -- a scrupulous analysis required by the Army Corps of Engineers that oversees and manages the Basin. The purpose of the "EA," as its called, is to convince the Corps to waive many of its sensible rules concerning over-sized events in the Basin. It attempts to establish that a three-day music festival anticipating as many as 65,000 attendees a day, placed inside an urban park that contains a designated Nature Reserve, will have no significant negative environmental impact on that park, its wildlife area or the public's enjoyment of them. 

Make Good Group, the marketing agency that hopes to put on the AngelFest event in Woodley Park, paid for the Draft EA to be produced. It is a long document, over 300 pages, and interested parties are invited to scan, peruse or study it, by clicking HERE.

The San Fernando Valley Audubon Society chapter has undertaken a thorough study of the assessment and found it to be full of shaky claims, outright misinformation, myriad oversights and laughably magical/wishful thinking. The full text of SFVAS’s analysis of the EA has been submitted to Colonel Kirk Gibbs, Commander of the L. A. District of the ACoE, who will decide whether or not the applicant's permit can be issued.  Please access our comments by clicking HERE. We believe they reveal that AngelFest’s true impact on the park and the wildlife area would go beyond “significant” to “devastating.” 

(Note: SFVAS is not against music festivals. They are a legitimate means whereby digital-era performers can support their artistic endeavors and their families. Our intent is purely to make obvious that Woodley Park is an astonishingly inappropriate location in which to stage such an event.)


This is a satellite photo of the eastern end of Woodley Park, on which we have projected the promoters' outline of the festival layout. We added the green line (Woodcrete fence) and the thick yellow line (boundary of the "Environmentally Sensitive Area" commonly known as the Wildlife Area or the Wildlife Reserve. Note the overlap with the "Wildlife Area." Note also the size of the crowds anticipated -- in the tens of thousands! If you've ever been to Woodley Park you know how outrageous this proposal is.

(Click on map to enlarge)

Supporting documents and statements submitted as part of the official SFVAS response:

1) Contrary to the offhand dismissal of potential harm to avian species, biologist Kris Ohlenkamp provides a substantial argument that there is significant risk. Risk is never a certainty, but as there are other places to host music festivals, why take these risks at all? Click HERE to read about the threat AngelFest poses to local and migrating birds. (Kris's letter to the Army Corps takes these threats and uses them to highlight blatant errors and omissions in the Draft EA. Click HERE to read.) 

2) Jackie Wollner researched the actual size of crowds previously accommodated by Woodley Park, and found them to be far more modest than the grossly inflated numbers provided in the Draft EA. Click HERE.

3) The Army Corps of Engineers has wisely determined that large crowds are not in the best interests of Woodley Park or its Wildlife Reserve. Built in to the Master Plan for the entire Basin are regulations, rules and restrictions that are clearly devised to maintain a peaceful, verdant and ecologically-healthy venue for low-impact recreation, nature appreciation and ball sports to be enjoyed by the entire taxpaying public. The Basin, and Woodley Park specifically, are clearly not intended to be used for small companies to make massive amounts of money. In her official SFVAS letter to Colonel Gibbs, Muriel Kotin enumerates the ways in which AngelFest would require the Corps to stretch its own rules beyond anything reasonable or consistent with its own operating principles. Click HERE to read Muriel's letter. (Note: The map above is referenced in this letter)

4) The EA claims that Woodley Park will be returned to its pre-festival condition in eight days which is, on the face of it, an absurdity. This attachment outlines the REAL consequences of the many hundreds of thousands of person-hours that would be crammed into the three days of AngelFest and the REAL costs in time and money required to remediate all damage. Click HERE.

5) SFVAS is fully and passionately against AngelFest being hosted in Woodley Park, but SFVAS also understands that Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department is woefully short of the funds it needs to adequately maintain our parks. We hear over and over that AngelFest NEEDS to happen because we NEED the money so badly. Thus, it’s hard not to be amazed at the truly awful deal Los Angeles Recreation and Parks made with the festival promoters. Click HERE to read about what other promoters have paid for permission to stage festivals in city parks.

6) Among its many casual omissions, the Draft EA contains no accounting for the pollution created by tobacco products and its potential toxic effects on the delicate ecosystem of Woodley Park. Click HERE for Jackie Wollner’s assessment of this potentially substantial impact.

If you're a local Los Angeles stakeholder and you haven't yet signed our petition, please do. 

This earlier post contains all the information you need to let them know you want AngelFest moved to another venue