Free concerts in California city not so fun with food police

If you're a fan of free summer concerts that many cities hold to draw shoppers downtown, you may want to stay away from Livermore, Calif., where the "food police" are checking if attendees have a local receipt for their meal they want to bring in.

Livermore concert-goers looking to save money by bringing their own food, or food from a restaurant outside city limits, will be turned away, according to a Channel 7 news report on the issue.

"We're saying buy local, support local," Livermore Downtown, Inc. Executive Director Rachael Snedecor told the TV station. "That's what this is all about."

The group of local businesses pays about $13,000 a year for 20 of the free downtown concerts. Just like you can't bring your own popcorn into a movie theater, or have a picnic in a restaurant, you can't bring in food from outside. No outside alcohol or beverages are allowed either, but Livermore restaurants and wineries sell wine, beer and food.

The downtown business association's website lists 54 downtown restaurants where take-out food can be ordered and brought to the concert with a receipt to show the food police, picnic police or whatever name fans of a Facebook page against the out-of-town food ban. The restaurants include everything from the Donut Wheel, which is open 24 hours, to Simply Fondue. Some, such as Pizza Hut on L Street, deliver, although it might be impolite to interrupt a concert of 60's and 70's rock music by Lunafish on July 27.
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