I have never seen so many people at Levitt Shell since the free concerts began. The hillside was packed by 7:30, and cars were parked (and towed) on Kenilworth, Overton Park, and other nearby streets. A Shell board member I ran into estimated the crowd at 2,500-3,000.
Two of my Flyer colleagues went to the Wilco concert and gave it great reviews, but said the amphitheater was about half full. Tickets were $42 plus handling charges.
The barbecue contest was also going on at Tom Lee Park Saturday night. All in all, a lot of people coming out downtown and in Midtown. And Sunday afternoon the zoo had such a big crowd that there were ten rows of cars parked on the grass outside the parking lot.
Back to the concerts, I wonder what performers, promoters, and fans think about the twin offerings of high-quality and somewhat similar music at the same time at the two venues. Most people bring food and drink to the Shell, where Ghost River was on sale for $3. At Mud Island beer was $5 and bringing in food and beverages was prohibited.
What impact is "free" having on the concert scene?