Niagara Gazette

Lewiston

July 11, 2013

Staging a comeback -- George Osborne brings new ideas, and free concerts, to Artpark

George Osborne brings new ideas -- and free concerts -- to Artpark

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — With the big crowds came unanticipated problems with traffic flow and noise. It created tension between the venue and Village of Lewiston officials and residents.

“The year we did Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top back-to-back almost overwhelmed the village, and it created a perfect opportunity for us to renovate and find a way to limit the crowds so they wouldn’t be overwhelmed with traffic jams caused by 20,000 fans. There were people that didn’t even make it into the theatre.”

The solution was to charge a small admission and limit the amount of tickets sold.

“The small admission charge did a few things, including us not having to base our decision on which crowd will drink more beer when we book an act. Take Chicago for instance, that crowd won’t drink nearly as much as Lynyrd Skynyrd’s crowd.”

It also has allowed Artpark to purchase video screens, and accommodate state of the art stage productions.

There is also ways to notify the public of sellouts to alleviate the traffic and the attendance is capped at 10,000. Thus, issues with the Village of Lewiston are now virtually non-existent.

ARTPARK'S ANNIVERSARY This is the first of a three-part series on the history of Artpark leading up to July 25's 40th anniversary concert recreating opening night in 1974. Part two will run next Thursday.

Thom Jennings covers the local music scene and Artpark for the Niagara Gazette.

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