SIOUX CITY | For security purposes, festival-goers should only bring clear plastic bags to this year's Saturday in the Park.
Dave Bernstein, SITP's co-founder, explained the change in policy for the 27-year-old free music festival during a press conference Tuesday.
“That’s becoming a very standard policy you see at most professional sporting events, many, many larger concerts and I think it’s something you’ll see down the road at maybe the Tyson Events Center, the Orpheum as well and other places,” Bernstein said as he spoke to reporters behind the Grandview Park Bandshell, which will host headliners Joss Stone, The Revivalists and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, as well as other acts Saturday.
“It just makes people’s jobs searching bags a lot easier," he added. "We’ve always maintained the right to search people’s bags on site. For a lot of different reasons, we want to keep moving down that road.”
The two biggest reasons Bernstein cited were safety and the harm people bringing in outside food and drink to vendors whose wares help support Saturday in the Park and keep the event free.
“Just buy some stuff up here; that’s all we really ask for your cost of admission,” Bernstein said.
In addition to the ban on backpacks, large purses and other large bags, Bernstein reemphasized that firearms and fireworks also are barred from the premises. A new law repealed the 86-year-old ban on most consumer fireworks in Iowa.
“No fireworks. Even though they’re legal in Iowa, they are not legal in the park,” he said. “...We are going to have a real low tolerance for anyone bringing fireworks and the same with guns. Even though Iowa passed an open carry law and you can take you gun into the capitol and stuff, you can’t bring it here.”