As Parkway Transformed Into Concert Venue, Mayor Nutter Reassures City On Safety And Crowd Control
By Jenn Bernstein
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Parkway continues its transformation into a concert venue, where in just days, high profile artists like Jay-Z and Pearl Jam will perform.
“This is a big thing, and we can do big things. We’ve done big things in the past,” said Mayor Michael Nutter on Tuesday, as he assured the public that the city is prepared for the concert.
This is the first time a ticket-purchasing event is on the Parkway, and with about 100,000 people expected during the two days, questions surrounding safety and crowd control continue to surface.
Though Mayor Nutter said the number of folks expected is a fraction of the crowd on the Parkway for the 4th of July, the plan includes two fences surrounding the festival, on-site medical staff, and public and private security units.
“We just got to deal with whatever comes up,” said Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.
Security will be patrolling in between and on the exterior of the perimeter fences. As for onlookers, the mayor says it will be incredibly difficult and pointless for people to try to listen from the outside.
“It would be a tremendously muffled sound, and you won’t be able to see anything,” Mayor Nutter said.
While Mayor Nutter said the city has a general parameter of how much the festival will cost taxpayers, his office is still in the process of figuring out the details and is not ready to release a number figure.
“This is the kind of thing that represents an investment opportunity in the promotion of this city,” said Mayor Nutter. “There will be some cost-sharing by the city and the promoters.”
Mayor Nutter believes a final breakdown will be available at the end of September, and said, “if this was not a good thing for the city, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”