AC gives details on Lady Antebellum, Blake Shelton beach concerts

Posted: July 24, 2014

ATLANTIC CITY - Officials expressed confidence Tuesday that free but ticketed beach concerts featuring country superstars Blake Shelton and Lady Antebellum will go smoothly.

"For a small town, we're used to this," said Deputy Police Chief William Mazur, who will oversee police operations for the two concerts, July 31 and Aug. 3. "I think Atlantic City was built for this type of event."

On Tuesday in Boardwalk Hall, Mazur and other officials from the city, beach patrol, Live Nation, and the sponsoring Atlantic City Alliance briefed Mayor Don Guardian on details for the shows, which they also hope will launch a burst of good news against this summer's onslaught of bad publicity from looming additional casino shutdowns.

"This is what we need for Atlantic City to move forward," Guardian said. "This is our future. Our forefathers built this to be a place to come and play. We just have to ramp that up in 2014."

More than 60,000 tickets were distributed for each of the shows, which will be held on the beach between the north side of the Pier at Caesars (stage end) and Kentucky Avenue (general admission entrance).

The tickets were obtained (free) by people from 48 states, according to Ticketmaster zip-code data. Stubhub will not list them for resale, but Craigslist and other sites are offering them for around $40 each.

Opening acts go on at 4 p.m., officials said. The main acts for both shows go on at 6 p.m. and will play until 7:30. Beer and food will be sold. There will also be misting tents and ATMs.

Live Nation's Sid Greenfeig said the setup for the stage and audience area on the beach would begin Sunday. VIP platforms will be built. He said he doubted there would be a sound check.

The "doors" to the beach audience area will open at 10 a.m. at the Kentucky Avenue entrance, Greenfeig said. Ticketholders will be scanned, searched, and hand stamped, and will be allowed reentry.

Beach Patrol Chief Rod Aluise said more than 40 lifeguards would work the area, with additional boat and jet ski patrols. He said flags would be set up 500 yards out in the ocean to keep boats from getting any closer than that, which was a problem during the 1983 Beach Boys free (and unticketed) beach concert, which drew anywhere from 60,000 to 300,000, depending on who is estimating.

Tickets are general admission, but the area will be organized into 12 zones outlined by a "mojo border," Mazur said.

Fans who won tickets to special "fan zone" areas directly in front of the stage will be treated to a tailgate party at Kennedy Plaza between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., then led directly to their seating area.

There will be an exit off the beach at all beach entrances. At 9:30 p.m., there will be fireworks on the other side of the pier.

Mazur said the planning for the event resembled that for music festivals held in recent years at Bader Field, which attracted fewer people.

Caesars Entertainment, on whose footprint the concerts are being staged, will have various places where its customers can watch the show, including the well-located Bikini Bar.

Liza Cartmell of the Atlantic City Alliance said the group was trying to work out logistics for a video and sound hookup on the opposite side of the pier to allow those who do not have tickets to see and hear the show. Dunes will prevent much visibility from the Boardwalk, and acoustics at the edge of the ocean are always a wild card.

"We don't have acoustics," Mazur said. "We have sand, air, ocean."


arosenberg@phillynews.com

609-823-0453

@amysrosenberg

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