By MATT RILKOFF
New Plymouth's two Fleetwood Mac concerts this weekend will give police and the city a pair of Saturday nights.
But the boys in blue are not expecting any trouble from the 36,000 Fleetwood Mac fans in town for the Saturday and Sunday night concerts.
Senior Sergeant Robbie O'Keefe said police would be treating the Sunday night the same as a Saturday in terms of staff numbers to cope with the influx on fans.
As well as that 10 inner-city bars have applied for special licences to stay open until 2am on Monday morning, so Sunday's concertgoers can keep the good times rolling.
Usually the quietest night of the week, this Sunday will almost certainly see some of the 18,000 fans heading to town around 10pm. "Honestly, we aren't expecting any trouble from them," Mr O'Keefe said. "We'll be there to make sure everyone is having a good time and the CBD remains vibrant and safe for them to do that."
That vibrancy will be visible on the streets longer than usual with most bars extending their outdoor areas for the two nights and keeping them open longer.
Usually such outdoor spots have to move inside by 1am but on Sunday morning they will be allowed until 3am and Monday 2am.
Venture Taranaki's regional tourism man, Paul Stancliffe, said while many people would start arriving in the city today and tomorrow, most of the 20,000 non-Taranaki people expected would be travelling here on Saturday. "With both concerts sold out we can expect town to be saturated with people, hopefully not with rain," he said.
At this stage Saturday's weather is looking to be cloudy and with a small chance of rain. Sunday fares a little better with mostly clear skies.
The decades old supergroup finished the Australian leg of their Unleashed tour last night in Brisbane, with New Plymouth their next gigs.
Reviews of their concerts have been overwhelmingly enthusiastic.
Kathy McCabe, music editor of Sydney's The Daily Telegraph said of the concert "Hit after hit after hit, the setlist would represent the Holy Grail to any band who has only a couple of records under their belt."
The city's two sold-out shows are the group's last in their 10-month global tour but it seems unlikely they will stop playing together.
Rumours are already swirling about a possible US tour with The Eagles next year.
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