Venue missteps fail to mar Buffett's ...

Venue missteps fail to mar Buffett's overflow party -- chicagot...

There are 8 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Jul 23, 2007, titled Venue missteps fail to mar Buffett's overflow party -- chicagot.... In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

Multiple wrongs unfolded at Saturday night's fun-loving Jimmy Buffett concert at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre, and they weren't limited to the sight of grown men wearing coconut-shell bras.

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David Field

Joliet, IL

#1 Jul 23, 2007
Mr. Gendron:

I agree with your review of the Buffett concert ( ) in theory. Fundamentally you are right. The venue screwed up, concert goers make the best of it.

But allow me to give you another perspective. I waited in those lines and missed the first few songs. I paid my own money (over $100/ticket) for admission. I apparently didn't have enough alcohol during the pre-concert parking lot party.

First Midwest Bank should be ashamed of themselves. Some of the things you noted and some that you may have missed were:

- Lack of parking control. Basically we were let loose in a lot and free to park where ever or however.
- Lack of experience. I didn't see any employee that appeared to be anything other than a High School part-timer just recently trained.
- No crowd control or ropes. Despite the fact you paint the Margarita revelers as happy - there was line cutting, pushing and cursing.
- After waiting near an hour in line (that initiated far too late) I was not searched, patted down, nor was my ticket scanned (which I printed off the internet).
- When I asked the oldest looking employee of Midwest Bank's venue if they ever ran a concert before I got a hostile response.

I believe your perspective is factually correct. Despite the problems, everyone (even I) enjoyed the concert and made the best of it. However, I think your review is swayed by the fact that I'm sure you were not in the lines waiting to get in (you saw the beginning) and I imagine your tickets were "free".

I have been a Buffett fan for over two decades. This experience made me consider the following:

- Buffett could have delayed the concert even more to allow the lines of people trying to get in to get their full value of the money they shelled out to see him.
- The sour mood set by First Midwest Bank made me consider this. Jimmy really doesn't sing very well and the songs he uses to stir up the crowd are usually not his (Springstein, Crosby Stills and Nash, Goodman, etc.). Maybe the alcohol has been an important factor in his success. I won't be so quick to make this investment next time. Maybe we should just go to the parking lot and leave when the concert starts.

Naperville, IL

#2 Jul 23, 2007
Concert was great but FMBA's gotta ways to go. There was very little uniformed security anywhere. I realize Buffett crowds are pretty laid back, but stuff still happens. Also, after the concert we were stuck in the parking lot for well over an hour. Our section of the lot was frozen; absolutely no movement whatsoever. I certainly expected it to be slow, but no car moved for over an hour.
tom mcguire

Midlothian, IL

#3 Jul 23, 2007
To call them "missteps" is being kind. From parking to admission to concession stand service, it was a disaster.

Parking wasn't too bad--if you don't mind walking three or four blocks to the venue, which could have been made less irritating if they had signs posted that the closest parking lots were filled.

As with all large events these days, security causes a delay with people being searched. But some of the guys doing the searching apparently have watched "COPS" too much and would take two or three minutes to frisk each person. This caused a lot of the back up as well as the poor attempts to get "women to the right, men to the left."

The people pouring beer apparently haven't learned how to pour a beer without having it foam all over the place or that fact it might have prudent to have a few beers poured ahead of time. Extremely slow service at all the concession stands. It would also have been nice to advertise the fact that at certain stands a person could only purchase one beer at a time.

But Jimmy was great, and it was five o'clock somewhere.
tom mcguire

Midlothian, IL

#4 Jul 23, 2007
If Jimmy Buffet delays the start of the concert by too much, it shortens the length of the concert. In encores in the past, I have seen him do several more songs than the two he did Saturday night, but I believe he shorten the encore because, apparently, bands can't play past 11:00 pm in Tinley Park.

Des Plaines, IL

#5 Jul 23, 2007
No wonder that venue is up for sale. They don't want to spend the money to run it properly. Can't blame Jimmy Buffet.

Fort Lee, NJ

#6 Jul 23, 2007
Bad stuff--good stuff

Bad: We had to park way back on the grass

Good: We got out of the lot much faster than we have at any other concerts.

Bad: We got stuck waiting forever in a line at gate 5.

Good: We were among the first twenty people in that line and got a good spot on the lawn.

Bad: Worrying about cutting through a crowd of people to make a pit stop.

Good: Lots of porta-potties to suppliment the regular toilets. That would have been a good idea for the Def Leppard concert!

Bad: The high cost of concessions.

Good: My significant other and I ate twice at a barbecue before the show, so I only had to pay for two overpriced cups of water and Pepsi.

Bad: The concert started late.

Good: More time to play with the beach balls!
First timer

United States

#7 Jul 23, 2007
Well, having never been to that particular ampitheatre before for a concert, I wasn't sure if it is operated like this all the time or if it was just like this for this concert, as I have also never been to a Jimmy Buffett concert either, but this was the most disorganized place I have ever seen. When we were driving into the place, there really wasn't any way to know where exactly you are to park. There were many cars on the grassy area as you drive in that were tailgating. We weren't sure if we were just to find a space amongst them or keep going. When we finally saw some workers and asked if there were places to park, they said they didn't know. They were all just kind of standing around doing nothing. We finally got to the place where we could park.
Then we had to get in the huge lines waiting to get in. It was about 7:00 p.m. They told us to get in the line for the premier parking entrance, as they were now letting everyone else enter there. The line barely moved and there weren't that many people ahead of us. I think it was about 7:50 when we got to the entrance to learn that men needed to line up on the left and women on the right. Couldn't they have had someone out there telling people before you got all the way to the front of the line and everyone scrambling to change places. And I found it odd that there were no garbage cans by the entrance. Many people were drinking while they stood in the long lines, but they had nowhere to throw their trash. It was being put on the ledge of the box office. They could certainly have saved themselves some cleanup time. Then there was only one male and one female there to search everyone. Granted, it is not their fault, but many people were frustrated by this time. The poor girl thanked me for not yelling at her. We were just walking into the entrance to the seats when the concert started so I missed him riding in on the bicycle.
And once I was in my seat, I left to get something to drink and luckily I had my ticket with me, as I was required to show it to get back to my seat. They should have signs up or tell you when you leave. I had to set my drinks down on the ground, fish the ticket out of my pocket so I could get back to my seat. I also know of others who were pushed and shoved and bruised because barricades were put up at the end of the aisle where everyone exits to the restrooms. It is as if they were all new to this and no common sense played into it. Luckily for me, nothing really bad happened to me and I enjoyed the concert. I am not sure if I would run back there for another concert anytime soon.

Chicago, IL

#8 Jul 30, 2007
I have been going to see Jimmy Buffet since 1995 This was by far my worse experience at the venue!! THe lines were a nightmare- and when they finally let us in- they did NOT even scan anyone's ticket People just rushed in I could have a camera with me, or worse!
Then, when trying to go down the ramp to get to the bathroom IT was a mob scene- NO security directing the flow People were just not moving Some girl- started to gently push her way through the crowd- Big mistake for the girl- Some colleg age boy turned around and PUNCHED her in the face- when she fell backwards the ppl there started to kick her and push her IT was horrible Finally, getting down the ramp- to my amazement there were NO lines for the bathrooms or vendors! So, why was there no movement on the ramp? I went to security (high school kids) and told them what was going on and the one boy offered to walk us back to our seats (which we did) I never felt so UNsafe in my life. I don't blame Buffet but he also needs to know how this venue failed his fans His loyal fans!!

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