Abbey Road on the River illustrates the value of purposeful park design.


As usual, I had a good time volunteering to help populate the SoIn tourism bureau booth at Abbey Road on the River. I was there Thursday and Friday during the day.

A glance at the map reveals Jeffersonville’s savvy approach to the design of Big Four Park. Streets on four sides are easily fenced to suit ticket control and alcohol sales; it also makes food trucks and vending easy. There are restrooms and utilities on the middle, and plenty of room elsewhere for port-a-lets.

Unfortunately in New Albany we have two festival sites (Riverfront Amphitheater and Bicentennial Park), neither of which have it all quite the way Big Four Park does.

The finest musical act I heard during my brief time on site was the genuine Liverpudlian Gavin Pring (George Harry’s Son) performing as George Harrison, playing deep album cuts from the concert for Bangladesh with the assistance of a crack international band.

I enjoy the feel of this festival. It wasn’t always evident to me, but this year the vibe came together. Roughly half the total attendees travel to AROTR from elsewhere each year, and it reminded me of the spirit at beer fests like Great Taste of the Midwest in Madison WI.