As Summerside residents and taxpayers, we have attended many of the concerts held at Credit Union Place. It’s remarkable how a small community like Summerside can host and attract such a wide variety of talented musicians.
Hopefully these events will continue, provided they can support themselves and are financially sound, not requiring any taxpayer monies.
I would like to make a couple of observations about the concerts in general, using the Blue Rodeo event as my example.
Point No. 1: I’m a big Blue Rodeo fan and most will agree they put on a terrific show. There were no big screen TV monitors at their CUP concert. Therefore, many of those in attendance could hear the music, see the light show but not actually see the band. Not all concerts held at the CUP have these. These monitors allow everyone in attendance to see the performers up close providing a much better concert experience. Selling tickets to shows where many of the attendees are unable to clearly see the band is not a long-term formula for success.
Point No. 2: For the second part of the Blue Rodeo show, people were allowed to gather and stand in front of the stage. These 70 or so individuals had a very good view and vantage point. However, no thought was given to those who purchased tickets to be on the floor, closer to the onstage activities.
This was not an outside event held in some field. It was a concert held in a controlled environment where seats were assigned and priced according to the vantage points. It would be similar to attending an event at the Confederation Centre where the people in front of you were allowed to stand up.
There were a wide variety of persons seated in this area. Some were older folks and a couple were in wheelchairs. Not always easy to see through, around or over people standing in front of you. Their concert experience was not enhanced by this situation.
Comprising the enjoyment of many for a few does not seem like positive position.
The concert was set up to use about two-thirds of the arena complex. At that, there were more than a few empty seats. Attending these events is a financial challenge for many. Hopefully the city powers will consider making these events a better experience for everyone.