Local musical acts and entertainment may take center stage at this year's Mifflin Street Block Party in Madison.
DCNY PRO , a local music and production company, is seeking city approval to sponsor the event, which for years has been the unofficial end-of-the-school year celebration for UW-Madison students.
"Our main focus is to divert the focus from just drinking and partying," says co-owner Ny Bass.
This year's event is scheduled for May 2.
Bass and his business partner David Coleman will appear in front of the city's Street Use Staff Team today to discuss their plans. They are seeking a street use permit for the 400 and 500 blocks of Mifflin Street.
"To control the crowd, it's better to have a large stage set-up," says Bass.
The plan calls for dozens of entertainers from about 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Bass says he's looking to book artists from nearly all genres of music including rock and hip hop. He also plans to have time for spoken word performances and Indian tribal dances.
Spots for food vendors are also in the works.
Bass says he's hoping to make it more of a community event.
"This will allow the police not to just go after the kids so much," he says. "The kids will be more distracted with the entertainment. The police will feel safer about what's going on."
City leaders have been seeking ways to tame the event. Thousands of people often pack the street, with a good number arrested for alcohol-related offenses.
The event has not been a sanctioned block party since 1995. Still, police converge on the area and close streets to keep the crowd size down and to prevent trouble.
Bass says he no plans to charge admission. He is seeking local co-sponsors to help off-set some of the costs.