One of the maps Los Alamos County is circulating prior to Friday’s concert. Courtesy Los Alamos County
A map of Friday night bus routes for the Los Alamos Concert Series. Courtesy Los Alamos County
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
The Los Alamos Summer Concert Series event planned for this coming Friday evening is one of the largest concerts Los Alamos will have ever had, County Manager Harry Burgess told Los Alamos County Councilors Tuesday evening during their regular meeting.
The concert will feature Big Head Todd and the Monsters.
Burgess said with the new concert series the concerts are classified as basic (more traditional) and mega.
“There’s kind of two tiers of concerts and the definition of the concert largely dictates the expectations for the number of people that may be here in town. This Friday is one of those mega concerts,” Burgess said. “One estimate that has been thrown out is as many as 10,000 people. That’s based on the production company’s experience with similar concerts in Taos. That obviously could bring some changes, some different pressures upon our system most importantly handling the people.”
He said there have been a number of internal meetings with various County departments including Community Services, Los Alamos Police Department, the Transit Division, Parks and others that are impacted by these concerts.
“I took a special trip over to the concert last Friday night. It was not your mega concert. It was the first with this new production company. From what I saw it was well-attended. It was Memorial Day weekend and many of our citizens were out of town so it wasn’t overly-crowded at the event, however, a lot of vendors were there. They had the traffic control devices up and from all reports I’ve heard it went off fairly well,” Burgess said.
He said last Friday was a dry run for what is anticipated next Friday which will entail a lot more preparations in terms of additional toilet facilities and additional vendors. He said the County will run its typical DWI concert buses that were started last year but also a downtown circulator to allow people to transition from a variety of potential parking places to get to and from the concert.
“We also have developed a number of different media to help explain things including a variety of maps. The maps have been placed on the County website, the Community Services Department website and shared by Sancre Productions who are the ones producing the Summer Concert Series,” Burgess said. He said the maps illustrate where the park is, where the music is, where the vendors are, so people not familiar with the facility can understand a little bit of the layout. He said there are also maps of all the available public parking facilities.
“We have distributed maps of the bus systems particularly for Friday night concerts. We also have maps showing ADA access including drop off zones, bathrooms and where folks might encounter difficulties such as stairs and other types of things so that our visitors can access it appropriately,” he said.
Burgess said there will be continued distribution of information through Friday.
“There will obviously be an opportunity for us to learn from this concert because there are one or two additional concerts throughout the summer that are defined as mega, so we will have an opportunity to refine some of our efforts throughout,” he said. “The information is out there and I”understand folks have been accessing it so hopefully we’ll get the word out of where people can find this information as we get closer to Friday night and our subsequent events. Sancre Productions has put together a timetable for the event with all of the contacts ranging from the vendors to the nonprofits to the services that are provided with names and numbers for each of those so that really facilitates anything that might come up during the evening.”
Burgess said he went by Ashley Pond Park at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning after last Friday’s concert and there was only one thing remaining in the park and that was the fencing for the alcohol vendor that had not been taken down. He said everything else was cleaned by 9 a.m. the next day which would also be a goal going forward.
“We have all hands on deck for this first effort and we will be learning from the experience but I believe we have all the preparations in place to do our best at something that’s going to be new for our staff and for our town,” he said.
Watch the Los Alamos Reporter for additional information expected to be sent out by Los Alamos County prior to Friday’s event.