There was expensive parking, rain leading to mud, long lineups for concessions and washrooms, but in the end there was Aerosmith for 30,000 people in Charlottetown Saturday night.
Before Aerosmith was done, Blast on the Beach featured 10 hours of music, including acts such as Cheap Trick, 54-40, Serena Ryder and Christa Borden. The official tally for ticket sales was 30,615, more than twice as many as saw the Black Eyed Peas last summer, which at the time was the biggest event ever on P.E.I.
At times, patience wore thin with the long lineups created by such crowds at the Charlottetown Driving Park.
"Two hundred forty dollars each for a ticket, $70 each for a room at UPEI," said one fan, "but they've got to realize you can't stand in a lineup for 45 minutes for food or a washroom."
The P.E.I. government paid $350,000 to bring Aerosmith to town, and many Islanders were keen to take advantage of the economic opportunity of music fans from across the Maritimes crowding into the city. Hotels were booked to capacity. Even the provincial under-15 girls basketball team found a way in, collecting $20 for parking spots at nearby Holland College.
The lineups began to disappear at dusk, when Aerosmith finally hit the stage.
'That's extremely high, but with that many people who knows?' — Const. Gary Clow, Charlottetown police
Following the concert, police were busy keeping order on the streets. As the Charlottetown Driving Park emptied, Sleepy Hollow Jail filled up. Fifty-four people were arrested for public intoxication.
"That's extremely high, but with that many people, who knows?" said Charlottetown Const. Gary Clow.
"Normally we might put eight to 10 people in jail on an average Friday or Saturday night, but this is extremely high. But like I say, we had 30,000 people."
RCMP were also kept busy over the weekend managing the heavy flow of traffic into and out of the province. At one point, Sunday traffic leaving the province was backed up all the way to North Tryon, more than 10 kilometres from Confederation Bridge.