Remember the musical game
show where the winning contestant guessed songs after hearing the least number of notes?
If you do, to carry forth the analogy, I predict that I could undo the Tweeter Center parking lots with One Note (step)
in areas described below.** This number may win a game show, but it would result
in severe losses for the Center, its sponsors, and the Town of Mansfield.
Three concert seasons ago,
I had a last minute opportunity to see the Black Crows at the Tweeter Center. It
was my first visit there. I was disturbed at the blatant public urination
and suggestive, indecent exposures... so angered that I began a report which I presented to the Chief of Police in draft
form! The tragic incidents of 9/11 and of a dear friend's grave illness
prevented the completion of my self-funded report by the '01 concert season's end.
So, in 02, I returned, numerous times as I also did during the '03 year. I have returned in '04 to confirm or disavow '03 observations... Though seven porta-john have been added, I
could still "breach" the access road. What was to be an open-and-shut, three-to-five page report has become a longitudinal study of broader issues.
Now, its time to wrap the study, for there's nothing more to
time for responsible people to take action.
Imagine all the change
which have occurred since "The Crow's" Concert in June 2001!
9/11... War in both Afghanistan
and Iraq. The Patriot Act... Heightened awareness of terrorism. Special funding for police and fire departments.
Man... the Patriots even won the Super Bowl! Plus their new stadium was completed and renamed from CMGI to
Gillette. Also, of course, The Black Crows disbanded. Indeed, it has been a world of change.
significant has changed at the Tweeter Center
since I wrote my first words!
all of the other terror related changes, one could argue that the Tweeter Center slid backwards, for as I point out elsewhere, The Center's back lot security is abysmal considering the juicy
target which a large confined crowd and a national entertainment act collectively presents.
this, The 2003 Jimmy Buffett Concert... the annual pilgrimage for parrotheads from all over: This is a musical cult following that is best described by the artist's signature song, "Wasting Away In
Margaritaville." Just where is Margaritaville?
Well, one could argue that it is anywhere there is a bottle of tequila and lost shaker of salt. But, were I pressed to put a physical location to Margaritaville, it would have to be Key West, FL, this
country's southern most city just a spit from Guantanamo, Cuba, where this nation is holding terrorist / prisoners of war. Frankly, a Jimmy Buffett concert fits, more-than-most, the "high profile" classification which
attracts attack, as it represents this nation's closest physical proximity to war (save the Shoe Bomber) and emotionally proximity
to a casual, "No Problem" attitude that existed prior to 9:15 AM on 9/11.
Still, after testing,
discussing, and even publishing in this website my ability to walk, at will (prior to purposely showing my self at a guard
station) the entire area behind the amphitheater during Lollapalooza... I, wearing white pants, once again strolled
onto the back access roads and spent about 30 minutes, suspiciously walking plus darting in and out of the lights
and shadows during the evening Buffett concert without being stopped... and obviously, not being monitored!
Am I Chicken Little? Or, am I Right-On? Is this not a vulnerability
(it's not a breach because the area remains unsecured) from which terrorist chaos could reign? One
can't say that this could never happen. It did; the two planes that hit the WTC
left from Boston. Having twice found myself ALONE to do what I pleased, I view
the exterior Tweeter Center security -- all components -- akin to home owners peering through their doubly-locked, front door
peep-hole while the back door remains wide open.
Leaving the Buffett
Concert in '03, I realized that after three years, about 25 visits, hundreds of miles walking the the lots, casual discussions,
and even a more confronting presence in '03, nothing had changed... not even the Sani-Kans,
or public urination. I decided then, but not knowing when (for there always have been events that would interrupt
or foreshadow this report), that it was time to "officially" release this report.
FIRE DETAILS &
Inherent in tailgating are open fires around thousands of gallons of gas contained in vehicle
tanks. For all the times and hours that I have been to the Center, I've but once seen a fire detail
patroling. This was at Lollapalooza, when I saw the forest fire truck checking fire lanes at 7:00 PM... and,
this was my first sighting of the truck during this event day which started at noon.
As one would expect, fire lanes were closed by both parking attendants' misjudgements and drivers parking
after the attendants moved on to the next lot.. Fire details should be present
with the parking staff for large crowd events and continually patrol to assure that fire lanes remain open. At the '03 Buffett Concert, there was an Engine Company pumper placed in
front of the amphitheater entrance, but in my continuous travels, I saw neither it, the forest truck, or uniformed
fire details walking the tightly packed lots, which were all made more dangerous by the numerous portable gasoline containers
for generators. "Event EMTs", a private company, did patrol the lots and were visable.
But, what do they know about fire... they are not firefighter EMTs!... POLES MARKERS: Also, lot numbers
on poles should be lowered and given a second letter designation such as 13A, 13B, etc. Where a 4 minute
delay leads to brain damage, a 911 call from a cell phone in the larger lots could be fail to bring a timely
response. The lots remind me of a call to the Coast Guard that came over my marine radio. CALLER: "Mayday,
Mayday, Mayday, I need your help!" COAST GUARD: "Where are you?" CALLER: "I don't know." COAST GUARD: "
If you don't know, how are we suppose to help?" Enough said.
I have no problem with
adults drinking in event parking lots. Tailgating at outdoor events, characterized
by long delays in entering and exiting the venue, is a part of the fun. However,
there are signs in place, which state that by Town ordinance, drinking is prohibited.
True, suspected minors get carded by the police, who also will tell adults to leave the bottles and drink from cups. Hold on a minute! The police are to enforce laws not waiver it! And if the unrealistic ordinance is continually waived, what is the effect of this permanency? Who is responsible if a drunken fight breaks out? The
fighters of course! But, how about the Town of Mansfield for waiving its
own ordinance? Is the Town an accomplice? I don't know. Hopefully, a solicitor, who has a favorable ruling
in the top drawer, does!
This topic is simple. NO ONE GIVES A S - - - ! PERIOD. And they haven't since I first reported this matter.
Apparently, this is not a problem worthy of anyone's attention; it's just a part of "doin' the "Tweeter
Thing." I contend that there are public heath violations for
which the Town and Center are culpable, despite any codes, of which the insuffiency is visible through the pictures of
pottie lines shown within. For example, since this report was first drafted,
only one new can was added in Parking lots C&D and at that it was isolated between parked vehicles so that it could not
be maintained during the Buffett event. The only significant change has been to
the Centers new $30.00 lot where there are six Kans for a few hundred cars. For all
these reasons, I have added the fairly explicit page
"How Does The Tweeter Center Want To Be Viewed?"
The Town of Mansfield should
mandate that permanent restrooms with wash water -- hot and cold -- be
required in permanent parking lots. What is code inside
the Tweeter turnstiles, should be code outside... Moverover, as there is common knowledge of the existing porta-toilet
deficiency and of the drinking crowd's need for quick relief for which they rely on "The Great Woods," there should be
detail police monitoring the lots that this is done in the woods, not on the way to the woods or in the parking lots. (Isn't
public urination and exposure against the law in Mansfield?) Though I recognize
that this enforcement would officially acknowledge the toilet problem -- and
open all those associated with it to the possibility of being liable for patrons hurt/attacked in the woods -- I also maintain
that this enforcement has more to do than with just physical injury and decency; it also has to do with preventing what could
be considered sexually harassing behavior in front of patrons, vendors and employees for which Tweeter Center Management
/ Clear Channel has "case tested," ultimate responsibility.
It's perplexing. NO, IT'S MIND-BOGGLING why Tweeter would want their upscale image presented in this way... ditto for upscale
Bose, WBZ and others. Their gain through sponsorship, especially since the
parking lots are free of ads, is NOT WORTH THE BRAND IMAGE DISFIGUREMENT AND POTENTIAL LIABILITY. V.I.P.
treatment and other perks considered, the risks currently outstrip the rewards. It's far safer to just buy tickets for
promtional and award purposes. In short, this paradoxical risk/reward situation is a Harvard MBA case study in
NOTICE AND TAKE
It is recommended that
the Center hand out written notices of acceptable behaviors. I've never seen/received one, EXCEPT at my last visit during
which I was presented a notice about RV owners being prohibited from extending their side awnings so as not to take up space. ARE YOU KIDDING? With porta-pottie
lines 24 patrons deep and other patrons peeing within sight... with a security staffer's rationale being that the only reason
to patrol the road behind the amphitheater was to prevent gate-crashers... plus
with fire and police not being responsible for the road.. and with all of the above mentioned vulnerabilities, I found
the RV awning handout to be hilarious. And, it indicates to me that the Tweeter Center was not only clueless
in the matters mentioned in my first started simple report, but is more so three concert seasons latter.
Persons "in charge,"
whoever they are, should take notice. This study and web report, which is validated
through photos and first-hand accounts, is that notice. Some visitors may view this site as the "Gentle Breeze"...
others as the "Great Storm." Regardless, my observations are irrefutable.
Finally, and in what may seem to be inconguent with the tenor of my words, I
have enjoyed all -- yes all -- the people with whom I have spoken, from the elderly beer can recycling entrepreneurs
on up. Also, I have observed that everyone, especially the police with their
appropriate touch, involved with the parking lots do certain things very well.
in matters of critical importance
regarding security, decency, plus legal and image/publicity exposures,
I rate the Tweeter Center parking lots an "all fault" F.
Based on the One Note analogy with which
I began this Wrap Up...
numerous, indentifiable, calamity scenarios can be realized in
One Simple Step.
Were I the executive
or a committee-person on which this reality must rest... I'd need a Sani-Kan (for
which of course there wouldn't be a timely one nearby)!
Fortunately, I'm just a
peace-loving guy who got invited to a Crows concert at the last minute.
your visit to my site. I welcome your comments, challenges, explanations and even rationalizations. I'm confident
with my report and other insights which have not been published for security reasons.