Florida Georgia Line concert-goers unhappy about shuttle ride to Lake Olmstead Stadium

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As the clock neared 7 p.m., Marion Broadway pointed to the sea of fans lining the Georgia Regents University sidewalk.

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Florida Georgia Line concertgoers board a bus at Georgia Regents University's Summerville campus, bound for Lake Olmstead Stadium.  DOUG STUTSMAN/STAFF
DOUG STUTSMAN/STAFF
Florida Georgia Line concertgoers board a bus at Georgia Regents University's Summerville campus, bound for Lake Olmstead Stadium.

Doug Stutsman
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Twitter: @stutsmanac
E-mail | 706-823-3341

“That’s a long line right there,” the Evans resident said. “Instead of being at the stadium getting ready for Florida Georgia Line, I’m still at GRU waiting on a school bus shuttle. Things definitely could have been handled better.”

Broadway was one of an estimated 10,000 fans to attend Friday’s country concert – which began at 7:30 p.m. – and one of many unable to purchase a parking pass.

Augusta GreenJackets general manager Tom Denlinger said 700 parking passes were made available, all of which quickly sold out.

Those without a permit were advised to take a $5-per-vehicle shuttle from GRU to Lake Olmstead Stadium.

“I’ve lived here all my life and have never heard of 10,000 people at Lake Olmstead Stadium,” Broadway said. “I realize the people in charge want to make money, but next time lets have more parking and sell fewer tickets.”

Broadway wasn’t the only concert-goer caught off guard by the two-mile shuttle.

“They sold out of parking passes by the time we heard anything about needing one,” Monica Petersen, who tailgated with a group of friends in a GRU parking lot, said. “Obviously it would have been nice to tailgate closer, but we’re making the best of the situation. I’ll just say one thing: It’ll be a deal-breaker if I miss Nelly.”

Frustration mounted, however, as kickoff to Florida Georgia Line grew closer.

“It’s 7:30 right now, so I guess we’re missing the opening act,” Augusta resident Stacy Tanner said during her wait for the shuttle. “Four of my co-workers are also coming and none of us heard anything about a parking pass until this afternoon. Nothing was mentioned online when I purchased tickets.”

North Augusta resident Lisa Taylor didn’t realize she would have to take a shuttle until 30 minutes before leaving for the concert.

“My (niece) was checking Facebook and noticed it online,” Taylor said. “Thank goodness she saw it when she did ... We would have panicked if we got to the stadium and had no place to park.”

In addition to fan confusion, residents near Lake Olmstead Stadium were also left in the dark about the parking situation until 24-hours before the concert.

Natasha Ruff – who lives on Division Street – says she returned home Thursday with a letter in her door about Friday’s concert.

“I looked in my door and had a note from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office warning us about traffic,” she said. “And this was one day before the concert.”

In the letter, RCSO warned residents of delays, traffic problems and parking issues, while advising them to plan their Friday accordingly.

“I had already made plans for Friday, so now I’m worried about getting back to my house later tonight,” Ruff said. “I just wish they had given us more of a warning about what’s going on – one day isn’t a lot of time.”

In spite of the inconvenience, Ruff said her main concern is safety.

“Division Street is pretty narrow to begin with, and with cars parked on both sides of the street, it’s almost impossible for a fire truck to be able to get where it needs to go if something were to happen,” she said. “It just makes me nervous.”

Comments (18) Add comment
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just an opinion
3270
Points
just an opinion 06/13/14 - 11:52 pm
10
2
City buses should have been used

What amateur approved this plan?

bdouglas
6612
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bdouglas 06/14/14 - 12:40 am
8
0
Better yet, who's the

Better yet, who's the "unappy" soul who typed the headline?

restguy
492
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restguy 06/14/14 - 03:45 am
4
1
Unappy....lol

What poor planning...

seenitB4
115158
Points
seenitB4 06/14/14 - 07:11 am
7
3
unappy

If I lived in that area I would be unappy too! :)

IBeDogGone
3015
Points
IBeDogGone 06/14/14 - 07:19 am
8
0
Nappy

U have time to take a nappy while you wait!

TrukinRanger
1767
Points
TrukinRanger 06/14/14 - 08:03 am
0
0
This is why many acts stay
Unpublished

This is why many acts stay away from Augusta...

csrareader
1288
Points
csrareader 06/14/14 - 09:14 am
5
1
Guess those unhappy folks

Guess those unhappy folks don't believe in leaving the house early. This is like being late for work and blaming it on traffic.

Gage Creed
21394
Points
Gage Creed 06/14/14 - 09:41 am
3
1
Apologies to Bobby McFerrin

Don't worry... Be Unappy!

If your bus is late, you may want to litigate...Don't Worry, Be Unappy!

amarie525
10042
Points
amarie525 06/14/14 - 10:36 am
2
1
ASU campus

just got back from walking the dog up there and there is trash everywhere! looks like people were tailgating and left their trash...

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 06/14/14 - 11:10 am
0
0
The whole shindig
Unpublished

must have been planned by a democratic promoter: "Get their (concert goers) money first, then to hell with the logistics and concert goers".

Butterman
3694
Points
Butterman 06/14/14 - 12:24 pm
2
2
What's new?
Unpublished

More poor planning for an Augusta event. Maybe next time they will have it at Lady A amphitheater. And who's bright idea was it to hold a sold out concert of 10,000 people in that small ballpark? Seems to be this would have been better to hold at The JB Arena.

countyman
22767
Points
countyman 06/14/14 - 12:45 pm
2
4
I'm very disappointed in the

I'm very disappointed in the coverage, because everyone I've spoken with enjoyed themselves overall and had no major complaints.. Some people did have to wait 30-40 minutes for the shuttle, but every large concert will create traffic problems.. The parking situation was announced before in advance and some people will always wait to the last minute..

The venue was fine and held 10,000 people with no problem.. The Lady A is not a ballpark and FGL is doing a ballpark tour..

This is even worse coverage than not sharing the man found this morning in the canal drowned..

Just an opinion.. The residents of Richmond County rely on public transportation and they're more important than a private concert...

Gage Creed
21394
Points
Gage Creed 06/14/14 - 12:47 pm
3
4
Was the man found in the

Was the man found in the canal (second in 2 weeks) in the CBD... you know 3 borders and all?

No problemo ... traffic tie ups? nah Trash at ASU (typing GRU is just groosume)? No worries...

countyman has this covered....

Butterman
3694
Points
Butterman 06/14/14 - 01:51 pm
4
3
why would you have a concert
Unpublished

why would you have a concert for 10,000 people in an area with only 400 parking spaces? That's just poor planning. Lake Olmstead ballpark is simply not equipped to handle these kinds of events... not to mention a ballpark is a lousy venue for a concert. At least Lady A amphitheater has a band shell specially designed for concerts. What's worse is that this parking shuttle plan seems to have been thrown together at the last minute and was not adequately communicated to concert patrons. And you mean to tell me that the best they could do was to shuttle people in yellow school busses more than two miles away? Considering the number of tickets this concert sold, The JBA would have been more appropriate venue and it has enough parking.

pja5529
3118
Points
pja5529 06/14/14 - 02:48 pm
4
0
Concerts and Traffic

I've never been to a concert where there were no traffic or parking issues...even in big ol' Atlanta....and having it at Lady A probably would have been worse....not to mention this was part of a "BALLPARK" tour...last I checked Lady A and the James Brown arenas are not a ballparks.

Butterman
3694
Points
Butterman 06/14/14 - 03:02 pm
3
1
Here's a thought
Unpublished

If you are going to hold a concert in a ballpark that seats 5,000 ppl and has only about 400 parking spaces... then sell fewer tickets. Don't forget that Lake Olmstead stadium has only one way in and one way out on a two lane road. IT is simply not an ideal place to stage an event of this size. Parking and shuttling patrons was clearly not well thought out in advance. Of all the places for people to park and wait to be shuttled to the stadium, GRU's Summerville campus is about the worst place I can think of. Clearly there were major problems as this article points out and most could have been avoided with better planning and communication. Lady A hosts large events almost weekly during the Summer and they seem to go off without a hitch. What's the problem in Augusta?

Gage Creed
21394
Points
Gage Creed 06/14/14 - 06:13 pm
2
0
Hot Summer Nights

In the past I attended many Hot Summer Night events sponsored by The Red Cross at Lake Olmstead Stadium. These concerts featured many bands that were either on their way up, on their way down, or were just old favorites. I remember congestion but nothing on this scale. Sounds to me like someone over-promised and under-delivered.

Spell Edit

Pops
20512
Points
Pops 06/14/14 - 06:01 pm
5
0
I talked to a couple of girls

that went to the concert. Got to ASU about 5:30......caught the shuttle.......no major problems.....maybe some of the ones complaining did not plan for success.....,.

redfish
1160
Points
redfish 06/14/14 - 07:06 pm
2
1
Waaaaaaaaaahhhh!!!!....

Waaaah! I didn't get to park right next to the concert, this is poor planning, they should have had the concert somewhere else, Augusta is bad, Lady A would have been perfect with 5000 parking places! Give me a break.

What a bunch of spoiled brat whiners. If you think this was unacceptable, never, ever go to a college football game or a NASCAR race or an actual large concert with a top name band. You might have to actually WALK for up to a mile and there will not be 50,000 parking places available right next to the venue. I guess all of you think you should be paid for having to actually walk some or wait for a shuttle and not be able to leave home 15 minutes before the start of the event? Have you bunch of whiners never been to an event bigger than a Greenjackets game?

Grow up and quit whining or shut up and never go to another concert or event with more than 500 people.

corgimom
46385
Points
corgimom 06/14/14 - 07:13 pm
1
0
I've been to many concerts

I've been to many concerts all over the United States, and I never had a problem with parking. Same way with going to stadiums, and I never had to walk a mile.

But I don't wait until the last minute, either.

janderson1945
2116
Points
janderson1945 06/14/14 - 08:37 pm
3
1
Whiners

Over 10,000 people attended, several thousand live nearby and the Augusta Chronicle decides to find a few whiners who probably complain about everything anyway. There are and will always be people who complain no matter what. There may could have been better planning by the promoter but how about personal responsibility. You can't show up at 7pm for a sold out 7:30pm concert and expect to be in on time.

We must do more positive things like this for our city and these types of one sided articles don't help. I have seen MANY excellent comments on Facebook.

As for the person complaining about a 1 day notice on her door from the Sheriff's Office, give me a break. I doubt very seriously many if any police agencies would be going door to door putting out flyers like the RCSO did so kudos to them for their notifications and postings on Facebook.

Countyman may try to always make things seem great in Augusta but in some cases he is right, this is one of them...stop your complaining!

Gage Creed
21394
Points
Gage Creed 06/15/14 - 10:30 am
1
1
@janderson1945Uh... I guess

@janderson1945

Uh... I guess RCSO and all of the other news agencies in the area just made up those stories of the traffic snarls?

I don't see anyone complaining about the show.. the complaints are with the logistics... and if you fail to recognize this, that makes you part of the problem.

Spell Edit

Gage Creed
21394
Points
Gage Creed 06/15/14 - 10:09 am
0
0
@Corgi

Regarding your 0713 comment... apparently you have never been to a concert at Road Atlanta or to a major event at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

I don't even want to ge into the FUBAR traffic and parking after Bristol went to over 100,000 seats.

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