Asbury Park Prepares Residents For Bamboozle [AUDIO]
The Bamboozle 2012 festival is less than two weeks away, and to prepare for the almost 90,000 music fans that will be trekking to Asbury Park, city and concert officials are letting the residents know what to expect.
Asbury Park City Manager led a panel for the public in the Paramount Theater, along with Police Chief Mark Kinmon and representatives from Live Nation.
The mega festival, which is celebrating its tenth year started out in Asbury Park before transplanting itself to the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, has long been a staple in the Garden State for its eclectic lineup specifically combining emerging and popular acts.
The information session addressed many of the concerns dealing with parking, transportation, and quality of life issues that residents will encounter May 18th ,19th , and 20th when the event is going on
EVENT INFO & TRANSPORTATION
Scott O’ Donnell, executive director of concert planning, went over many of the logistics for the event. First dispelling rumors and misconceptions, namely that the festival will draw over one hundred and fifty thousand people to Asbury and that Bruce Springsteen will be making a guest appearance.
He noted The Boss is scheduled for a concert in Spain on the night he is rumored to have been joining Sunday night headliner Bon Jovi. As for the crowds, he acknowledges 150 concert goers would be great for ticket sales, however they are expecting a much more reasonable sum of people for the three days. Specifically, 20 thousand on Friday, 40 thousand on Saturday, and 30 thousand for Sunday.
He explained that though the concert’s average demographic is within the 13 to 21 year old age range, this year acts like Bon Jovi and The Foo Fighters are expected to draw a much more varied audience with fans well into their thirties, forties, and fifties expected.
O’Donnell’s presentation started with the ticket pavilion, which will be located at the Old Carousel Building and will be open from 10 am to 5 pm Wednesday and Thursday before the event, and then operate from 10am to 10pm during the days of the festival.
Instead of traditional tickets, Bamboozle 2012 concert goers are given bracelets with rf-id chips which will allow them to scan in at entrances at the Arcade and Ocean Avenue. O’Donnell said the portals will be able to take in 40,000 people an hour into the event space which will be guarded off with 8 foot fencing.
Police Fire and EMT’s will have an increased presence in the adjacent Berkley Hotel. O’Donnell says there will also be additional temporary restroom facilities and garbage bins placed throughout the city.
The event will last until 11 p.m. each of the three days, after which O’ Donnell says there are after parties taking place at the Wonderbar, Stone Pony, and Convention Hall which will last until 1:30 a.m. He notes in addition to the added entertainment the after parties (which cost an additional fee) will allow those exiting the days event to do so in a staggered manner instead of all at once.
One of the issues of concern from many is the herculean task of parking and transportation for the thousands and thousands of concert goers. O’Donnell said Live Nation is working with the company Game Day management, which handles the Super Bowl and Olympics, and they have coordinated the transit plan.
Though there will be very limited metered and curbside parking within the blocks nearby to Ocean Avenue where the festival will take place, O’Donnell says warns not to count on it and suggests people park off-site at Monmouth Park Racetrack where shuttles will transporting them to the venue. He notes there are 9,700 spots available at Monmouth Park, and an additional thousand have been reserved at nearby 7 Presidents Park for overflow if need be.
There are 50 buses which will transport people on Friday, as well as 100 buses on Saturday and Sunday. ’Donnell says Game Day Management constructed several routes which buses take to and from the venue to ensure less congestion.
Additionally, extra trains have been secured that run until 2:05 am on Friday and Saturday and 1:05 am on Sunday.
He notes shuttles will have an escort on-board, however he says parents are welcome to ride the shuttle alongside children free of charge. There will also be a parent’s lounge, also free of charge, which will have water and refreshments for any parents with children in the festival.
The Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce will also provide brochures with suggested attractions that chaperons waiting for children can attend in the area.
PUBLIC SAFETY & TRAFFIC
Asbury Police Chief Mark Kinman addressed many of the concerns residents have about The Bamboozle Festival affecting parking, transportation, and even access to their home.
He noted that first and foremost the Asbury Park Police Department has maintained contact with all local police.
He said Neptune and Ocean Township police will help with coordinating exit routes, while the Monmouth Sheriff’s office will provide manpower and equipment, and the prosecutor’s office will handle investigations if they are necessary.
The main staging area for law enforcement will be at the Thurgood Marshall School, while additional medical personnel will be at the Berkley Hotel. An Emergency Room doctor will be present, as well as paramedics who will have expanded treatment capabilities and try to treat and release as many people as possible.
Kinsley St to the Ocean will be barricaded with no parking and residents as high up as the 700 block could feel the congestion.
According to Kinman, as soon as blocks fill up they will be barricaded from concert goers arking. However, one thing the police chief was very adamant about was that not only homeowners still have access to their properties, but the barricades would be flexible and police will use their best judgment.
He understands that many residents have weekend homes and don’t have proof of residency available. While many property managers have gotten tags or id cards, he notes police will be using their discretion and will work with residents as much as possible. In return he just asks for as much cooperation as possible.
“We hope the main thing our residents take through this weekend is a little bit of patience.”
Sunset Ave, Third St, and Asbury Ave will be designated as emergency routes which can be easily barricaded and cleared for police, fire, or EMT transportation.
Additionally Kinman wants concert goers to understand the differences having the festival in Asbury Park will mean.
“It’s not Giants stadium so we’re discouraging any tailgating.”
Kinman tells residents the Asbury Police will maintain a strong presence throughout, with at least 75 officers working each day on double shift.
He notes there is no public drinking of alcohol allowed outside of the designated festival area, and there
will be uniformed and plain clothes officers patrolling the nearby areas to prevent rowdy concert goers from disturbing the peace.
Reidy believes all of the preparation and controlled chaos from the event will be worth it for Asbury Park.
“It will be inconvenient, let’s not kid ourselves about that but it will be better for the residents.”
He notes in addition to further bolstering the cities culture as the home of music, Live Nation paying for all of the expenses (police, transportation, etc) means it costs nothing to the city.