Tens of thousands of people turned out for the first Sound On Sound music festival.
It was a chance to see some of the biggest acts take the stage in Bridgeport, but what sounded like an amazing experience fell short for some fans.
We’re told 60,000 people were expected to turn out at Seaside Park for the two-day event to hear about two dozen performers, including Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds, Stevie Nicks, and The Lumineers.
For some, the first day on Saturday hit some bad notes.
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“In theory, it was a great festival. In reality, it was not worth $600,” SaraLyn Wright of Middletown explained.
SaraLyn Wright had concerns, echoed by scores of people online.
Those included long lines to get food and drinks, horrible traffic trying to leave, and difficulty just trying to walk around.
“By 4 p.m., It didn't feel safe anymore. There were so many people and everybody was just so crowded in there. I honestly, at that point, looked at my friends and said, ‘They totally oversold this’,” continued Wright.
Wright ended up skipping the second day and asking for a refund.
In a statement, organizers wrote in part:
“As with any new event, we experienced some growing pains on Saturday — so we worked overnight to make the experience even better, including by reconfiguring the viewing area, expanding the No Chair Zone, adjusting sound to ensure music could be enjoyed throughout the park, and increasing staffing to keep concession lines moving as quickly as possible. We are proud we are able to bring 23 world-class performers and tens of millions of dollars in economic impact to the region, and we look forward to entertaining Connecticut for years to come.”
That included beefing up staff at vendor stations, better signage, and adding paths to make it easier to get around.
The City of Bridgeport says it was excited to host the event and added in part:
“We are so excited to host the first year of Sound On Sound and bring this exciting experience to music fans from across the region. Overall, the first day was successful and safe, but things can always be improved, and we worked with the festival overnight to address the concerns we heard.”
“The acts that I saw were pretty much amazing. The way that they organized it today was also amazing. I know there were a lot of concerns from Saturday that they addressed,” Nick Rose of Plainville added.
Both the city and festival organizers are hoping to keep Sound On Sound going for years to come, bringing music fans and potentially millions of dollars in economic benefits to the city.