Aside from some minor grumbling, last Friday’s Rock the Shores concert went over remarkably well.
In fact, the question West Shore residents will have to ask themselves is if they want the venue used more often for similar large scale events.
No other location in Greater Victoria has been able to accommodate as large a crowd with such minor disruption to our region’s transportation corridors. Both before and after the sold out show, which featured The Tragically Hip, there were few reports of traffic congestion – and this on Friday afternoon along a route that sees plenty of vehicles lodged in the notorious Colwood Crawl.
Much of the credit can go to all those concert-goers who chose to heed the early warning and find alternative means to get to the grounds. Many people chose to ride their bicycle to the venue, earning the privilege of entering through the VIP gate.
Ironically that might have led to larger than expected line-ups at that gate – a legitimate concern for people who paid extra to access that section.
But other than complaints about waiting in line, notably at the water station and beer garden, not even a surprise thunderstorm dampened the spirit of the event.
The crowd itself was remarkably patient, even as lightning strikes forced the Sam Roberts Band from the stage.
The RCMP report only a few minor incidents involving intoxication but nothing that would cause them to question whether an event of this size should be held again.
West Shore Parks and Recreation also report few concerns resulting from the concert. Fields were fine the next day and business quickly returned to normal for the groups that regularly use the facility.
It appears Greater Victoria might have found a new home for events that attract huge crowds. The choice facing West Shore residents now is whether that’s something we want to see happen again.