BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Going forward, you will have to pay $5 to attend the previously free Thursday night Canalside concerts.
While the decision makers behind this change haven't explicitly explained why yet, a series of unfortunate events last summer make it pretty clear that this new fee is supposed to deter those who might otherwise show up just to cause trouble.
For Thirty years, starting with Thursday at the Square, this concert series was free. The Canalside concerts have been so well received that some acts got tens of thousands of attendees, but that's also what created problems, and that’s why this announcement doesn’t come as a surprise.
Last summer’s T-pain concert, which drew in 25,000 concert goers, caused a safety issue when about 2,000 people who didn't make it in tried to rush the barrier. Teen fights and the threat of terrorism led to increased security.
The thought process, per management last year, was that charging people might provide crowd control and keep trouble away.
Like anything, requiring a fee has its pros and cons. While $5, subjectively, isn't a lot of money, it may steer away well-behaved patrons who enjoyed coming and going as they pleased.
"With the kids, you can't always plan and be here for as long as I wanted, but now it's like, if you're paying the money, you feel like you’ve got get there right on time, so it does limit some of the people who are still trying to get out of work and come here,” pointed out one woman, who has two kids.
Others said they feel it will effectively control the crowds by drawing in only those who truly want to come for the music.
The series lineup for 2017 will be announced Thursday, May 18.