News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.


Rapper Sean Kingston

Five-Officer Wedge Needed To Diffuse Problems In Crowds

5-Officer Wedges

Needed To Diffuse

Problems In Crowds

City Couldn’t Handle Trouble

At OH-Fest, Chief, Mayor Find

A photo from OH-Fest 2017 gives a sense of the size of the crowd Oneonta police must deal with. Here, The Throwback Time Machine warms up for Jesse McCartney.  This year, concerns about protests caused Mayor Herzig to revoke the Neahwa Park permit for Rapper Sean Kingston.   (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Hometown Oneonta & The Freeman’s Journal

ONEONTA – If one person gets hurt in the OH-Fest crowd, it takes five people, including law enforcement and EMTs, to reach them, according to City Police Chief Doug Brenner.

“We form a wedge to move through the crowd,” he said. “But if there’s 10 people fighting, we’re quickly overwhelmed.”

Such concerns were among the reasons Mayor Gary Herzig revoked SUNY Oneonta’s permit to hold this year’s OH-Fest concert by Rapper Sean Kingston.  Know Violence Here, a student group, had spoke of protesting after learning he had been accused of a gang rape in 2010.

SUNY-O Cancels Rapper Kingston’s OH-Fest Concert

SUNY-O Cancels

Rapper Kingston’s

OH-Fest Concert

Too Little Time To Reschedule

It On Campus, College Declares

ONEONTA – SUNY Oneonta this afternoon cancelled tomorrow’s OH-Fest concert after students learned the featured artist, rapper Sean Kingston, had faced allegations of involvement in a gang rape in 2010, and they gathered last evening in a “community dialogue,” trying to decide what to do.

Mayor Gary Herzig, concerned about protests, this morning withdrew the city permit for OH-Fest to stage the concert in Neahwa Park, suggesting it be moved to SUNY Oneonta’s Dewar Arena.

A few minutes ago, however, SUNY Oneonta VP/Student Development Franklin Chambers announced there’s not enough time to stage such a large event in such short order.  “Our decision came down to safety,” he said.

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