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Pink gets the party started for Atlantic City Beachfest concert series
7/13/2017

"Lets get this party started Atlantic City," is what three-time Grammy award winner Pink exclaimed Wednesday night to a packed beach.

The artist opened with her 2001 breakthrough single "Get This Party Started." Her drummers drum set sat on a gigantic artificial pin cushion and strobe lights went off as the artist broke into her 2006 single "Who Knew" before going back to the 2001 song "Just Like A Pill."

The party was just beginning for a crowd that had been waiting all day for the singer to grace the stage. Pink opened the Atlantic City Beachfest concert series Wednesday night to an estimated crowd of more than 40,000 fans. Fans, who sat side-by-side on chairs and towels, got to their feet as Pink took the stage at 8:45 p.m. Wednesday; Opening act DJ went on at 6 p.m. followed by Dreamcar at 7:20 p.m.

Fans, many wearing pink t-shirts, bathing suits and many more sporting pink color in their hair, waited in the heat on the boardwalk for most of the day and were allowed on the sand at 6 p.m. At one point Wednesday afternoon, the waiting line stretched several blocks from Mississippi Avenue outside of Boardwalk Hall to Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Without a doubt, the crowd was there to see Pink, whose concert kicked off the 2017 Atlantic City BeachFest Concert Series. The show is part of a three-year, $6 million agreement with the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority that requires Live Nation to bring at least six beach concerts or events that attract 30,000 attendees or more to Atlantic City during this summer and next summer.

Live Nation had estimated 40,000 and 50,000 fans would attend the event. On Wednesday, visitors agreed that number seemed right on the mark. It was obvious from the packed beach that the concert looked much larger than the previous year's attendance with Zach Brown Band with 20,000 visitors and Jimmy Buffett with 25,000 visitors.

However, fans had mixed emotions about beach seating.

Pat Hilbar and Jackie Maza of Seaside Heights in Ocean County didn't bring chairs or blankets to the show because they thought there would be seating. Hilbar said she was disappointed there was not.

"It stinks," she said. "We had tickets with a row and a seat, so we assumed we were getting seats. There were none."

Becky Barrier of Vermont was visiting Atlantic City for the first time and came specifically for the beach concert.

"I think it's cool. Theres a lot of different age groups here, which is nice," Barrier said.

The seating was less than ideal, though. She said that people were stacked on top of one another.

"It sucks," she said. Barrier wished there were signs designating rows to walk.

Dave Meas of Reading, Pa. also thought rows would have been better.

"You can't move to get from point A to point B, you can't get through," Meas said.

Restuarants and bars were trying to draw in concertgoers with pre- and after-parties. Across from the stage, Harry's Oyster Bar's front lawn was already packed with patrons. General manager Judith Reahm-Coffee, of Galloway Township, said the proximity to the stage and the good weather would help.

"Holding concerts during the week is excellent for business. Most of our business is more toward the weekend, so it will draw in a lot of people," Reahm-Coffee said.

For Massachusetts residents Denise Kania, 49, and Emily Kania, 15, coming to Atlantic City on a 5-hour bus trip Tuesday was a must to get a good seat for the Pink concert.

They were the first in line by 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, hanging out and people-watching from the Boardwalk by the VIP entrance on Columbus Avenue.

“It was a mother-daughter bus trip,” Denise Kania said. “I love Pink. I liked her before my daughter did, and she’s liked her since she was 8 years old.”

For Massachusetts residents Denise and Emily Kania, 49 and 15, coming to Atlantic City on a 5-hour bus trip Tuesday was a must to get a good seat for the Pink concert Wednesday afternoon.

They were the first in line by 5:30 a.m., hanging out and people-watching from the Boardwalk by the VIP entrance on Columbus Avenue.

“It was a mother-daughter bus trip,” Denise Kania said. “I love Pink – I liked her before my daughter did, and she’s liked her since she was 8 years old.”

Joshua Duff, 27, of Boston, said he saw the Kania duo on the bus down to the city from Massachusetts and realized it once they showed up in line by the morning.

“We’ve been meeting so many people,” he said, standing with his friends from Boston and another pair they met in line from Kentucky. “It’s a family.”

A little bit further down the line, friends Tammy Harman, 48 and Casey Goold, 32, of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, came to the Boardwalk lined up in the morning Wednesday because they’re both “number one Pink fans,” Harman said.

“She has an amazing voice, she’s got great messages,” Goold said, adding that she appreciates the artist’s involvement empowering women and the LGBTQ community. “I just think she’s a wonderful person.”

Goold said she’s never been to the city before, but was willing to take the day to spend at the beach for the concert.

“I think it’s great, I think it brings a lot of revenue to Atlantic City,” she said.

There were big Pink fans up and down the Boardwalk Wednesday afternoon waiting for a good spot in front of the stage. Visitors were in line from places such as Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Long Island, Massachusetts and Kentucky.

Some fans walking the Boardwalk before the gates opened were wearing shirts from previous Pink concerts, or ones they made themselves. Kelly Booth, 36, of Long Island, came to the Boardwalk with her friend wearing matching “Pink Beachfest” shirts that were made by her future mother-in-law.

The pair was about to head into The Backyard Bar at Caesars, which advertised "Pink Specials" Wednesday, selling cold drinks for concert goers.

Concert prep

There were construction workers moving all around Atlantic City's beach on Tuesday afternoon, just a day before three-time Grammy award winner Pink takes the stage to kick off the first Atlantic City BeachFest concert of the season.

A total of 250 workers have been constructing the stage, which was finally set up alongside The Playground shops by Tuesday afternoon.

Concert doors open tomorrow at 5 p.m., with local DJ Dee Jay performing a set at 6p.m., opening act Dreamcar following around 7p.m. and Pink taking the stage around 8:25p.m., according to Live Nation.

On the boardwalk side of the beach, tents were constructed and mini stages built for bar patrons and potential vendors as the city geared up for the start of the Atlantic City BeachFest Concert Series in two days.

By Wednesday, the beach will transform into a venue for three-time Grammy award winner Pink as she performs the first concert for the 2017 Atlantic City BeachFest Concert Series.

The shows are part of a three-year, $6 million agreement with the CRDA that requires Live Nation to bring at least six beach concerts or events that attract 30,000 attendees or more to Atlantic City during this summer and next summer.

Pink’s last tour, “The Truth About Love”, averaged between 15,000 to 20,000 attendees during her 2013 “The Truth About Love” tour, according to Rummy Pandit, executive director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism at Stockton University. Billboard Magazine named that the third best-selling tour of 2013.

Live Nation said about 20,000 tickets to the Zac Brown Band concert were sold or given out last year, while 25,000 people were estimated at the Jimmy Buffet show in mid-August.

What is unlike previous years of beach concerts is the proximity of the first two announced shows in the 2017 Atlantic City BeachFest Concert Series. Brantley Gilbert will perform the following day after Pink.

Gilbert is making the stop on his “Devil Don’t Sleep Tour” in Atlantic City as part of a 23-city tour, according to Gilbert’s website.

Ruff Ryders and friends will perform later in August, with no further announcements on any other concerts as of now.


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