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CAPE FEAR MEMORIAL BRIDGE: Updates, resources, and context

New Hanover County shuts down unpermitted food trucks subcontracting for Live Nation

The city-owned Live Oak Pavilion in downtown Wilmington, operated by Live Nation.
Benjamin Schachtman
The city-owned Live Oak Pavilion in downtown Wilmington, operated by Live Nation.

When county Environmental Health staff went to check on the two trucks, the operators were unable to produce the required permits. The trucks were serving food at both of Wilmington's city-owned venues, Greenfield Lake Amphitheater and the Live Oak Pavilion.

On Thursday, New Hanover County confirmed that two food trucks that had been operating at the Bon Iver concert held at the Live Oak Pavilion have since been shut down. The concert was operated by Live Nation, which has subcontracted DLS Events, LLC to run food service at both city-owned venues.

According to the county, following the concert, "Environmental Health staff made a visit Wednesday to Live Oak Pavilion to ensure these trucks were permitted to operate in New Hanover County. One truck was still at the site and not in operation, while the other had relocated to Greenfield Lake Amphitheatre for another event."

Neither truck was able to produce the necessary permit to operate.

According to the county, "[u]pon further review, New Hanover County has not issued either of those food trucks a Mobile Food Unit permit and these trucks will not be allowed to operate in the county until they receive one."

The county noted that the trucks "could have been permitted to operate in other counties but were not able to produce those permits at the time."

Both trucks were ordered to cease operating.

The county was not able to identify the trucks or where they were from. According to Environmental Health Services Manager Alicia Pickett,"DLS Events, LLC is operating via the contract with Live Nation and they were not among our locally permitted Mobile Food Units. That information is something they would have."

Neither DLS EVents nor Live Nation has responded to requests for comment sent on Thursday morning and afternoon.

Earlier this year, LIve Nation General Manager Ryan Belcher told Wilmington City Council, "Our caterer, our laundry, our cleaning crew, tent rentals, staffing agencies, food trucks, were all local companies that benefitted from this venue,” as reported in the Greater Wilmington Business Journal.

During last week's Azalea Festival, concert management earned the ire of at least one locally permitted food truck which was turned away.

Related: Local food trucks turned away from Azalea Fest concerts causes stir (Port City Daily)

In response to questions about the incident, the city stated that it "supports our thriving food industry and even adjusted the ordinances pertaining to Mobile Food Units in the new LDC to be more accommodating to small businesses owners."

Ben Schachtman is a journalist and editor with a focus on local government accountability. He began reporting for Port City Daily in the Wilmington area in 2016 and took over as managing editor there in 2018. He’s a graduate of Rutgers College and later received his MA from NYU and his PhD from SUNY-Stony Brook, both in English Literature. He loves spending time with his wife and playing rock'n'roll very loudly. You can reach him at BSchachtman@whqr.org and find him on Twitter @Ben_Schachtman.