Prior Mumford & Sons shows hailed as successes
Other towns' officials say crowds were well-behaved
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DIXON – Hordes of Mumford & Sons faithful are about to descend on Dixon – 15,000 fans strong. Should Dixonites be quaking in their boots, or grateful for the economic boomlet?
Dixon is the third of four U.S. shows on the Gentlemen of the Road Tour. Portland, Maine and Bristol, Tenn., have survived the onslaught. Monterey, Calif., will be the last stop.
With 15,733 souls, Dixon is the smallest of the four towns. With 15,000 tickets sold, it will double in size Friday and Saturday. Officials estimate the influx will leave about $1.5 million in its wake.
And if Portland’s and Bristol’s experiences are any example, Dixon has little to worry about: Organizers and others say Mumford crowds were well-behaved, and the concerts were unqualified successes.
Seth Koenig is the Bangor (Maine) Daily News reporter who covered the Aug. 4 concert. Most people would say it went “quite well,” he said Tuesday.
“Most people were pleasantly surprised by how well it went,” he said. “That’s not to say there weren’t some problems.”
There were no arrests, no rowdy behavior and only a few medical calls, expected because of the hot, humid weather, he said.
The biggest issues concertgoers faced were long lines for food and portable toilets, said Koenig, who heard “some people complaining about spending hours in line to get a drink and hours in line to get a hamburger.”
He also heard accounts of people waiting in line 45 minutes to use a Porta-Potty.
Overall, though, crowds and organizers alike were pleased with the results.
“My sense is that there were many more people who were excited about the show than had great concerns about it,” he said. “There’s always going to be concerns raised about something the city had never done before.”
Saturday’s concert appeared to be a big success in Bristol, too.
Tricites.com reporter David McGee covered concert preparations and aftermath.
“The overall impression here was exceptionally positive,” McGee wrote in an email Tuesday. “We had large, well-behaved crowds and only three arrests on Saturday – two for public intoxication.”
About 17,500 concert tickets were sold, and about 5,000 more people attended a series of related events at downtown bars and restaurants, McGee wrote.
In an article Tuesday, McGee reported that the event was “a boon for local businesses, both downtown and the hotels and restaurants on both sides of town.”
The city is interested in holding more such concerts in the future, he wrote – a sentiment echoed by elected officials in Portland.
The nonprofit Friends of the Eastern Promenade (the area in which the Portland concert was held) helped get information to residents and neighborhood groups before the show. Similar to Dixon Main Street, the group received a portion of ticket sales.
Its president, Diane Davison, said the concert “exceeded everybody’s expectations.”
“It was very well run, very well-organized,” Davison said. “The vibe was very positive. We’re very pleased with how things went.”
The more than 15,000 people who attended enjoyed a “sophisticated event,” she said, and the economic benefit to the community was substantial.
After music ended on the promenade at 9 p.m., everybody went downtown to “spread the wealth.” Many were visiting Portland, population 66,343, for the first time, she said.
“The vibe was really pleasant, from all the staff and security; everyone was just joyful, it was amazing,” Davison said.
“It was a win-win for most people.”
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