Violet Festival organizers met last month with officials from Violet Township, the Pickerington Local School District and the Fairfield County Sheriff's Office for a post-festival discussion.

Violet Festival organizers met last month with officials from Violet Township, the Pickerington Local School District and the Fairfield County Sheriff's Office for a post-festival discussion.

Festival President Chris Stein said the reconfigured festival, which ran July 29 through Aug. 1 at a new location this year on the campus of Tollgate Elementary School and Tollgate Middle School, was a success.

He qualified that remark with an acknowledgement that not everything ran smoothly, as can be expected with a new venue and after a one-year hiatus.

But the the impressions and feedback across the board were nonetheless very positive, Stein said.

"I think overall the festival was a success," he said.

"We had good weather and the bands that played were good.

"The school (district) was very happy and supposedly there were no (noise) complaints except that first night," Stein said.

He was referring to a noise complaint that was called in soon after the scheduled closing time on the first night of the festival.

"The headliner ran over a little bit on Wednesday night and a complaint was called in at 11:04 (p.m.)," Stein said.

Parking for the Violet Festival was off-site and shuttles were implemented to ferry people to and from the Tollgate site.

Stein said the Aug. 1 headliner, Kansas, brought in an estimated crowd of 9,000 people.

Problems only occurred after that show ended when the shuttle-service couldn't move enough concertgoers fast enough to off-site parking locations after the show concluded, Stein said.

"Saturday was jam-packed," he said.

"It was sight to see. Our biggest obstacle was the shuttle-service because we couldn't get enough drivers," Stein said.

"Five buses to (Pickerington High School) North and three to Trinity (United Methodist) Church still weren't enough," Stein said.

"What a lot of people don't know is that we had the ability to contract for more buses, but (Petermann) couldn't get the drivers to drive," Stein said.

The result was a 60- to 90-minute wait for a number of festivalgoers to catch a shuttle to their cars. Stein said some people, frustrated with the wait, took it upon themselves to walk the mile down Refugee Road to the Pickerington North lot.

That forced Fairfield County Sheriff's Department to issue a "hard closing" at Pickerington Road and Refugee Road to ensure pedestrian safety, Stein said.

He said next year the plan will be to contract for at least 10 shuttles instead of five.

"That is something we have to plan better for next time," Stein said.

Other than the shuttle snafu, Stein said the festival went very well, with no emergency medical services runs reported and no arrests.

"That's a very good sign," he said.

Violet Township Trustee Gary Weltlich also said he believed the festival was a success at its new location.

"All I know is I had a lot of positive comments," Weltlich said.

"I thought it went very smoothly," he said.

Township Engineer Greg Butcher said from a "township perspective" the implementation of no parking restrictions on Tollgate school grounds and the adjacent Huntington Hills neighborhood "we're very effective."

He said getting the word out about road closures and parking restrictions ahead of time made the difference.

"The township worked awfully hard in communicating a whole set of logistical details to our residents," Butcher said.

"We felt our planning efforts paid off," he said.

As for a final attendance tally for the 2015 four-day event, Stein said the unscientific, ballpark estimate is that attendance was commensurate with the tallies from recent years when the Violet Festival was located in downtown Pickerington.

Those numbers consistently hovered around 30,000 to 40,000 attendees.

"It was probably close to what we had in the past," Stein.

What's next for the Violet Festival?

Stein said he plans on at least having discussions with Pickerington city officials about bringing the festival back into the city next year, possibly at Pickerington High School Central.

However, he said he is also pleased with the Tollgate school location.

"I'm more than willing to sit down with the city," Stein said.

"If we bring it back to the downtown area it would still require more permits, paperwork, noise abatements, council approval, all by November," Stein said.

He said the Violet Festival sells itself and shouldn't have to go through a prolonged permitting process again.

"From my perspective I don't really have to sell it to the city," Stein said.

"I've got a location now."