Thousands of people turned out for the Black Eyed Peas on the Halifax Common on Saturday. ((CBC))

Halifax's biggest concert of the summer may not have turned much of a profit.

An estimated 20,000 people turned out at the Halifax Common on Saturday to see the Black Eyed Peas. But not all of them paid the asking price of up to $150 for their tickets.

Shortly after the popular hip-hop group took the stage, the gates were opened and a large crowd was let in for free.

Free tickets were also distributed at local beaches.

"I was just at the beach one day and there were people walking by asking who liked the Black Eyed Peas," said Chelsea Heibert, who attended the concert with about 10 of her friends. All of them had free tickets.

"They had a whole booklet of tickets," she said. "They were just passing them out to everyone it seemed."

The exact number of tickets sold for this weekend's concert is unclear. Calls to concert promoter Harold MacKay went unanswered on Monday.

Other acts for Saturday's show included Weezer and local rapper Classified.

It was supposed to be a two-day festival, but Friday's show, featuring Kid Rock and the Counting Crows, was cancelled in late June. At the time, MacKay gave no reason for the cancellation and would not confirm the shows were cut because of sluggish ticket sales.

Several concerts have been held at the Halifax Common in recent years, including the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and Kiss.

Last year, the province put up $600,000 for marketing the McCartney concert and provided a loan guarantee to cover McCartney's $3.5 million fee. The Halifax Regional Municipality kicked in nearly $200,000 more.