Frank Chandler, principal organizer of this summer’s Nateva Music & Camping Festival at the Oxford Fairgrounds, has plenty to worry about as the date draws closer.

Making sure he has the right permits isn’t at the top of his list.

“I’m concerned about everything else,” said Chandler, who hopes to attract 15,000 fans to the three-day festival July 2-4. “I’m concerned about making sure we put on a first-class event. Do we have enough toilets? Do we have enough security – all the details that you want to be perfect where nothing is.”

Because the festival lacked proper permits, state and local officials halted some preparation work at the site last week.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection said the festival needed a stormwater permit, and the town of Norway said Nateva organizers failed to apply for an outdoor festival permit.

Most of the festival will be held in Oxford, but because part of the site is in Norway, Nateva needs permits from both towns.

While treating the permitting issues seriously, Chandler said his larger concern remains making sure the festival is as organized as possible. He described the permitting problem as a nuisance, and said it will not imperil the festival.

He expects the DEP issue to be resolved in a few days, and plans to appear before the Norway Planning Board next week to seek a mass-gathering permit.

Norway Town Manager David Holt agreed that the issues are moving toward resolution.

“They did file an application to get their public hearing for their mass-gathering permit. Our code enforcement officer is working with them to get them before the Planning Board for a site plan review, and that should happen right away. So we’re making progress,” Holt said.

The festival will include 53 bands over three days, appealing largely to the jam-band and indie-rock crowds. The big name is Furthur, which includes Phil Lesh and Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead. Furthur will headline at Nateva on July 4. Other headliners will be moe., on July 2, and the Flaming Lips, on July 3.

Other performers that have committed to the festival are Keller Williams, Jakob Dylan and Three Legs, Passion Pit and Ghostland Observatory, on July 2; Rustic Overtones, Drive-Truckers, She & Him and STS9, on July 3; Max Creek, Zappa Plays Zappa, George Clinton, and Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, on July 4.

The bands will play consecutive sets on side-by-side stages. Music will begin at noon each day.

The concert site can accommodate about 7,000 people for camping, Chandler said. There will be three stages in the campground area, one with music from late morning until 7 each night, then again from midnight until 3 a.m.; an acoustic stage from midnight to 3 a.m.; and a family stage.

Weekend passes with camping cost $249; without camping, the fee is $229. Single-day tickets will be available for July 4 only. That’s because Furthur, the headlining band, attracts throngs of fans who travel from show to show. Chandler said it made sense for Nateva to make single-day tickets available on Sunday to accommodate the traveling fans.

Sunday-only tickets cost $89.


Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or at:

[email protected]


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