Residents air complaints about Stones show
Moncton residents who live near the site of the upcoming Rolling Stones concert are claiming that city organizers are ignoring their concerns.
About 300 residents who live around the Magnetic Hill site turned up for a public meeting Thursday night. They claim they are being kept in the dark about plans for the massive Sept. 3 concert.
Earlier this week, city organizers revealed a number of tough security measures to lock down the concert site in order to control crowds.
"We were kept, as residents, in the dark on purpose," said Gerald Carson, who complained about being treated like a prisoner. "It wasn't something that just happened."
One of the major issues in contention is that the city doesn't want local residents to use their cars or have guests over on the weekend of the concert. The city says this is necessary to keep parked cars from blocking the road for emergency vehicles, but residents pointed out that they park in their driveways.
"None of the residents are going to park on the road and cause problems for the ambulances and fire trucks getting in," one resident declared at the meeting.
Another resident, Charles Crossman, was furious when he discovered that guests he has invited to his house that day will have to pay for parking at designated spots ? if they get into the area at all.
"I have people coming to my house," he said. "You mean to tell me that my friends have to pay the city of Moncton...$15 to come to my house?"
"It's each person's feeling here that who we have on our personal property is none of your business," said another resident, Bob Fudge.
"You invited 75,000 to 85,000 people here without consulting us how we felt about it," Fudge accused city officials. "We feel there's a lack of trust. You don't trust us and we don't trust you."
The meeting was organized to respond to the concerns of residents but many felt the questions went unanswered.
"We presented stuff to the council. You promised us that list of 31 questions would be answered tonight and I've heard no answers yet," said resident Chris Legg.
Moncton Mayor Lorne Mitton, who wasn't at the evening meeting, has vowed to hold an emergency city council meeting Monday if the citizen's concerns were not resolved.
City representatives said Thursday they will try to negotiate better access for residents, who have threatened to thwart any future concert in their neighbourhood if they aren't satisfied.
Organizers began selling an additional 10,000 tickets to the concert Friday morning and expect the final attendance for the Labour Day weekend concert to reach about 85,000 people.
Three-quarters of the tickets have been sold to Stones fans outside of New Brunswick and 35 per cent of those tickets were bought from those outside of Atlantic Canada and from as far away as Vancouver, California and Texas, according to city officials.