News Editorial Board
T-Pain’s Outer Harbor concert on Sunday didn’t start or end with a disaster. Spectators were able to get in and out of the venue without too much trouble, which delighted both the management and the ticket holders. Additionally, the event served as a demonstration for others to come and a prelude to the controversial opening of the planned amphitheater a short distance away.
Normally, a concert didn’t attract much attention outside of the quality of the music and the performance, but, from a logistical point of view, this event had a greater meaning.
Concert capacity was limited to 4,500 people, roughly the same number expected for other shows coming this summer at the Lakeside Event Lawn. Parking was less of an issue than those unfamiliar with the site. On Sunday evening, parking in the large parking lot near the vacant Terminal A building and street parking on the boulevard proved to be more than adequate. Even more impressive, half of the parking lot, which holds about 800 vehicles, appears to have been emptied 20 minutes after the show ended.
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The Buffalo Waterfront Management Group made the right decision in limiting presales at the Lakeside Event Lawn to about half the number sold for a show in August 2021. That show may have fueled fears that concerts at the Outer Harbor n ‘result in chaos as drivers attempt to leave the site. The show, by rapper Rick Ross, has caused traffic jams and long delays for drivers ready to get home.
Other improvements at Sunday’s event included increased staffing, a Buffalo traffic cop directing cars out of the parking lot and nine Allpro parking attendants. Spectators also found plenty of parking spaces along much of the length of Fuhrmann Boulevard, which has a capacity of around 750 spaces.
Another contributing factor to the relatively quiet logistical scene is that the three-act program meant that T-Pain didn’t appear on stage until 8:30 p.m., about 3 1/2 hours after the doors opened, resulting in hours of delay. staggered arrival. It also helped that it was a Sunday night before Memorial Day and other potential attendees may have opted for other activities.
Although the venue can accommodate over 4,500 people, the Waterfront Management Group has limited the number of tickets available. Lauren Moloney Ford, the group’s general manager, said there were no plans to go beyond 5,000 tickets for any of the concerts scheduled for this summer. It’s a good initiative that will help make performances more attractive.
There were a variety of suggestions from viewers and there is always room for improvement. But this “test event” should allay a number of worries from those who insist the planned amphitheater, under construction and due to open in the summer of 2024, will cause unimaginable traffic jams.
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