Sunday, November 15, 2009


Blankets are fine, but forget the picnics.
By JARED SMITH - Taranaki Daily News

Organisers of next month's Fleetwood Mac are assuring concertgoers they don't want them to freeze in the TSB Bowl of Brooklands.

Alarm bells began ringing last week after a district council update in the North Taranaki Midweek suggested blankets would be banned from the Bowl.

Bowl manager Adrienne Kensington was quoted as saying that the 17,000 fans who attended on December 19 and 20 should not bring blankets with them.

"People who bring in blankets won't be able to use them for very long because of the crowd size, so we urge people to leave them at home," she said.

Mrs Kensington said her office had received calls from concerned ticket holders worried about keeping warm if it was a cold Taranaki weekend.

In fact, the explanation was that people could not expect to fan out picnic fashion because of the sheer crowd numbers.

Rather than a ban on blankets, it was merely a warning of what to expect. "It was just a suggestion that they do that. It is more or less to inform them they won't be able to spread out," said Mrs Kensington.

"We are going to be packed and people are going to stand up and dance.

"We're not saying, `Don't bring blankets at all'. It's just not a spread."

Beach chairs and large picnic hampers
would not be allowed
and anyone entering the Bowl with them would be asked to return them to their cars, or leave them in the area provided at the gate.

Signs would be put up around the racecourse area informing arrivals of the rules.

Mrs Kensington said similar restrictions were in place in the Bowl during the Elton John concert in 2007, attended by 14,500 people.

Each Fleetwood Mac concert would have another 2500 in the crowd, plus the 1100 on the special seating over the lake.

"The fences are right back, for room to be freed up."

There would be a ban on bringing alcohol
into the Bowl for the concerts.

Mrs Kensington also said no commercial
food would be allowed
because there was a contract with catering company Eurest.

Simple snack food in a backpack was all right, but carrying 10 pizza boxes was not.

First Security would handle the entry points and crowd control on the concert nights.

There would be no parking on Kaimata,
Somerset and Cornwall streets
to accommodate those walking in and out.

Mrs Kensington said more information on conditions of entry to the concerts would be released on websites and advertised in the Taranaki Daily News closer to the concert dates.

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