While the news surrounding this year’s Lost Lands since the festival ended has been less than stellar, most people who attended the event will tell you that it was one of the best of the year – myself included. However, some local residents of the Licking/Legend Valley/Thornville townships say otherwise.

During a Licking Township Trustees meeting on Monday night, over 30 residents attended to yell and complain to the owners of the Lost Lands venue, Steve and Laura Trickle. Between 35,000-40,000 people attended Lost Lands this year, growing more than 10,000 over last year’s event. Officials report that the festival resulted in two deaths, a comparatively mild six arrests, and one (known) report of public nudity in a nearby neighborhood.

Still, residents as far away as Granville (around 14 miles northwest, as the crow flies) were complaining of noise and rattling windows.

Resident Katie Lawhead told the trustees, “The noise was unbearable. You couldn’t watch TV, couldn’t sleep. It’s a slap in the face to the people here. There was a guy walking around naked on drugs, people urinating on the side of the road, someone broke into a neighbor’s fence. It was just chaotic. Something has to be done.”

Township Trustee John Holman used far more vitriolic rhetoric to describe the event.

“I can truthfully attest, the previous four days have been the most violating, intrusive, disrespectful display ever to the residents of our community,” Holman said. “The nudity, the defecation, the fornication, the urination. Kids on school bus witnessed sex acts and full nudity on the way home from school.

“This concert has been an assault on and an exploitation of our community. This has been an assault on our first-responders, safety forces, infrastructure, school system’s ability to transport children, peace and tranquility, and freedom in our own homes.”

Officials from Lakewood Local Schools said Tuesday that no one had reported any of their school children being subject to witnessing sex acts or nudity.

The Trickles listened to the community’s complaints with open minds, and apologized for what they could, and promised to do better elsewhere.

“I’d like to apologize to everyone here,” Steve Trickle said. “It will get better next year.”

“We have done music until 2, 3, 4 a.m. at every show, except county jam, to keep people entertained,” Laura Trickle said. “These people are 25, 26 and still up and having fun, and want to stay up until 2-3 in the morning. That’s the reason we go late. (If not) I can’t guarantee they’ll stay there.”

“I made a deal with Lost Lands to quit the main stages at 12:30 a.m., and do small late-night stages in the campground,” Steve continued. “I know you could not hear stages after 12:30, as I personally monitor the neighborhood volume myself.”

Other community members attended to stand up for the Trickles, as well.

“Our community gets so much revenue from this,” Licking Trails resident Kim Ross said. “We’re fine with the concerts, when we like the music. We should have consideration for all the people who benefit from this.”

Suzy Peters said, “My windows didn’t shake. My 2-year-old slept through the night. My son’s a firefighter and worked three days, and made enough to make his medical school payment. That was huge. He was one of thousands that was paid very, very well.”

There is currently no indication that Lost Lands 2019 will not continue as scheduled.


Photo via Jake West Photo for Lost Lands