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Supreme Court Clears Way for Country Music Festival at Loudon's Speedway

Todd Bookman/NHPR

The state’s highest court is giving the New Hampshire Motor Speedway the green light to host a three-day country music festival. The decision comes after more than a year of court challenges brought by neighbors concerned about noise.

The legal dispute centered on a contract signed in 1989 by the previous owner of the racetrack in Loudon, in which the track agreed it wouldn’t host stand-alone concerts. So when the Motor Speedway announced its intention in 2017 to host a music event, those same neighbors sued to stop it.

The N.H. Motor Speedway argued that it was going to host the event on land acquired after 1989, and that it wasn’t therefore subject to the no-concert provision.

Last year, a Superior Court judge agreed with the race track, and now the Supreme Court has affirmed that decision in a 5-0 order.

"This is absolutely terrific news for music fans, local businesses and for tourism in the Capitol Region, and we are preparing to move full-steam ahead," said David McGrath, executive vice president of the Motor Speedway in a statement.

The track hasn’t yet set a date for the event, which will include camping and could draw as many as 20,000 country music fans.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

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