Is big concert on pier the beginning of a trend?
15,000 people expected for Mumford and Sons show
by Stephen LaMarca
Reporter Staff Writer
Jul 22, 2012 | 8439 views | 3 3 comments | 66 66 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SAFE AND SOUND – City officials said Pier A is safe enough to support the thousands of concert attendees.
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The city is buzzing over the upcoming Mumford and Sons concert, which is expected to fill Pier A Park with 15,000 fans and plenty of alcohol. The folk-rock band is slated to play along the waterfront Wednesday, Aug. 1 at 6 p.m.

The 15,000 tickets for the event, at $55 each, were sold out in roughly one day. Ticket prices immediately doubled on online ticket provider StubHub.com. At press time for this edition, tickets on StubHub ranged from roughly $175 to $561 each.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer said that although the concert sold out quickly, roughly 2,500 residents were able to purchase tickets.

Hobokenites who missed their chance may not have to give up hope just yet. City officials said last week they plan to sell 500 more tickets to the city’s residents at face value. Details will be announced next week; visit hobokennj.org for more information.

Why the change?

City officials said when they were approached by Mumford and Sons with the idea of holding the concert within Hoboken the city negotiated to earn $2 per every ticket sold.

“I think that it’s a really good fit,” said Zimmer, later adding, “We’re confident that this is going to be a spectacular event.”

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The city negotiated to earn $2 per every ticket sold.

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The revenue from the event will go toward the Cultural Affairs Department, which often schedules free events in the park. Officials hope that the thousands of music fans that come into the city for the concert will also visit the many shops, restaurants, and cafés in the area.

Attendees will be able to purchase two alcoholic beverages at a time. Proceeds from those sales will go entirely to the band.

Zimmer said that if the event is successful, they may host other similar events.

“I think we’ll evaluate how this works,” said Zimmer. “[and] we’ll consider possibly doing an annual concert like this.”

Additionally, Pier A Park will also play host to a relatively large concert on Saturday, Aug. 18 at 12 p.m. The event will feature a Biergarten from the Pilsener Haus and will feature 7several bands, including Tokyo Police Club, The Nightmare, We Barbarians, Body Language, Lights Resolve, and more.

A brief history; concerns

Pier A Park is often host to free movies and concerts, but this is the first time the city has sold tickets to high-profile acts or sold alcohol at such events.

Councilwoman Theresa Castellano talked about the now infamous incident in the early 1990s in which a Hoboken restaurant owner hosted a large-scale alcohol-fueled event sponsored by beer companies, and ultimately drew thousands of partiers who wreaked havoc on the city. The city clamped down after that.

“There were people walking all over with coolers sitting on the sidewalks,” said Castellano. “It was chaos.”

Castellano said that after Mayor Anthony Russo took over in 1993, his administration quickly put a stop to the parties.

“We were just victims of the whole situation,” said Castellano, who represents the 1st Ward in which many bars are located, and who is Russo’s cousin. “It was pretty ugly, but we stopped it.”

Castellano said she hopes the same situation doesn’t occur in the park.

“If it was my administration, I probably would not allow [the Mumford and Sons concert],” said Castellano. “I think we have enough [concerts, and] Pier A is so pristine and beautiful.”

Zimmer said that the band and its typical fan base will not lead to chaos.

“It’s great music but it’s on the mellower side,” said Zimmer. “I think it’s a completely different scenario.”

“We’re taking it very seriously and we’re not going to allow this thing [to] get out of hand,” she added.

Zimmer also said the event organizer will pay for cost of over 100 security officers to supervise the event. Ticketholders will also be receiving communications that will promote safety.

Is it safe?

Zimmer also responded to concerns over the safety of the pier, considering the collapse of the nearby Sinatra Park Pier in September 2009 and the discovery in 2011 that only 29 percent of the piles holding up Pier A are functioning as designed.

“We had our engineers evaluate it,” said Zimmer. “[Boswell Engineers analyzed] the stage and all the equipment and how much everything weighed.”

“We wouldn’t be moving forward with this concert if we hadn’t done that,” continued Zimmer. “There are no safety issues for this concert.”

Stephen LaMarca may be reached at slamarca@hudsonreporter.com.

Comments
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Rory_Chadwick
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July 24, 2012
I disagree with the comment that councilwoman Castellano made, I think if tihs were her administration she would be all for this. As a business owner herself she would understand that if the show is a success, then this paves the way for future events such as hosting a Super Bowl experience that will bring tens of thousands of people to Hoboken. This will also open the eyes of the Formula 1 organizers and show them that Hoboken would be an ideal epicenter for the Weehawken Formula 1 races. The Formula 1 event is a 10 year agreement and every year for about a week Formula 1 fans will be in Hoboken taking part in demonstrations and events hosted by Formula 1. This will give retail store, bar and restaurant owners an entire week of massive sales, would blow the St Patricks Day figures out of the water. I'm not sure if councilwoman Castellano is aware but Formula 1 fans are considered the by many to be the most deep pocketed fans in the world, they have lots of money to spend.

I feel this is a good first step to bringing lots of business to Hoboken. Mumford and sons is already tweeting about the show and they're telling everyone to eat, drink and shop locally online and they'll repeat this during the show. Afterwards 15000 people will be in Hoboken spending money in local businesses, ideal for every business owner. And if its a success and the super bowl 2014 committee and Formula 1 people take notice, it could make Hoboken one successful place to make business.
WESTY
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July 25, 2012
Councilwoman Castellano has always put her own and the Russo family's political agenda ahead of what is good for Hoboken.

Mrs. Castellano's unending negativity and sniping is unfortunately to be expected.
GODHELPUS
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July 24, 2012
GOD HELP US, THE MAYOR OF HOBOKEN NEGOTIATED 2.00 ON EVERY TICKET WORTH APPX 55.00 AND 175.00 STUB HUB AND SHE ONLY GOT 2.00 BUCKS ON THOSE FIGURES, NO WONDER THIS CITY IS IN TURMOIL,, THAT WAS A HORRIBLE NEGOTIATION/DEAL , BY A TERRIBLE MAYOR.

MAYOR YOU ARE KILLING THIS TOWN BETWEEN 40 LAW SUITS PENDING ON YOU AND THE CITY, (THE LARGEST AMT. EVER FOR THIS CITY OR ANY OTHER IN NJ AGAINST ONE MAYOR)AND POOR MANAGEMENT DEALS., GOD HELP US