Common Ground Readies for Close

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The 14th Annual Common Ground Music Festival may technically end Sunday, but that's not the way the event's workers see it. They still have to tear down the various booths and stages and clean up.

"We'll start tonight and we'll end at around 2 a.m.," said Meghan Leahy, Common Ground's operations manager. "And then we'll come back at 8 a.m. tomorrow and work like a regular business day for the next three days so we can give the streets back to the city and the people of Lansing can start their regular route again."

Leahy says the clean-up starts with the big items and the things other entertainment companies have brought. They then work their way outward to smaller items and perimeter fencing.

"It's a long process but all of the people involved have a great time because it's such a wonderful festival," said Leahy. "So even though you're tired, you're good mood stays through, so that really helps you get it done quickly."

Executive Director Kevin Meyer says it's a bittersweet feeling when the event ends.

"You're relieved that it's over because it's physically taxing but you're also kind of emotionally sad that it's over because we have fun and we love what we do," he said.

More than 40,000 people attended Common Ground through Saturday. a number Meyer said was on target with what they had hoped for. He said the feedback has been largely positive and that he was pleased with the way the festival has grown.

"Where we're selling tickets to and who is buying is broader than I think it's ever been ever in the history of the festival," he said. " We're selling a larger percentage of our tickets outside the Lansing Metropolitan Area so people are coming in to see the festival and see the artists perform."