ATLANTIC CITY — As crews tore down the stages, skate ramps, wrestling ring and tents that scattered the beach between Arkansas Avenue and St. James Place on Monday morning, the aftermath of a two-day punk rock festival was evident.
The plastic bottles and bags, cigarette butts, beer cans and sandals were strewn about, but workers from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority’s Special Improvement District and LiveNation were feverishly restoring the Boardwalk and beach following the 25th anniversary of the Vans Warped Tour.
“The CRDA participated by having its SID employees clean the beach and Boardwalk during and after the event on both days,” said Matt Doherty, executive director of the authority. “Some employees worked until 2 a.m. to ensure that the area was clean for the next morning.”
Compared to what the area looked like Sunday night after nearly 30,000 people left, it was a vast improvement.
The cleanup and breakdown of the makeshift concert venue is expected to be complete by the end of the week, according to Ike Richman, a spokesman for concert organizer LiveNation.
And while the visuals of a littered beach are less than ideal (and temporary), Warped Tour in Atlantic City was, by most accounts, a resounding success.
“I have to say that this was probably one of the most impressive festivals that Atlantic City has ever seen,” said Fire Chief Scott Evans. “This was one of the largest footprints of temporary structures that we’ve seen on the beach. I think Atlantic City performed extraordinarily well.”
With an estimated 60,000 people attending the event over the course of two days, Atlantic City police reported no arrests and emergency medical services were needed for just fewer than 300 people.
“Overall, we were excited with the success of the concert,” said ACPD Sgt. Kevin Fair. “We enjoy working these beach concerts because it highlights a concert atmosphere that is not found anywhere but Atlantic City.”
The city’s first responders were tested Saturday afternoon when lightning, thunder and heavy rain briefly forced an evacuation of the beach. Evans and Fair both said the evacuation plan was executed as planned and there were no issues during the rain delay.
“It was a fantastic event and thanks to all who made it a wonderful experience for the artists, the athletes and their fans,” Richman said Monday. “And special thanks to the city of Atlantic City, CRDA, police, firefighters, lifeguards and first responders who were all instrumental in making the event a success.”
The thunderstorm that interrupted Saturday afternoon’s festivities may have been a blessing in disguise for local businesses, many of whom often miss out on a revenue bump when beach concerts come to town.
“For two hours straight (on Saturday), you couldn’t find a seat at the bar or in the restaurant,” said Frank Pileggi, manager of The Irish Pub on St. James Place.
Pileggi said the 50-room hotel was booked solid for the weekend with the majority of guests in town for the concert.
Ducktown Tavern owner John Exadaktilos said Sunday was the better of the two days for his business. Exadaktilos estimated half the bar was locals and regulars, while the rest were new faces.
“(It was) a good economic boost before the holiday weekend,” he said.
Before heading out of town, Daniel Marker, 40, and Megan Snook, 25, both of Lewistown, Pennsylvania, heaped praise on Warped Tour and Atlantic City.
“(Warped Tour) did a better job this year than last,” Marker said. “But, I really liked the sand and the beach. Everything was within walking distance (from the Airbnb). I’d come back (to Atlantic City for another concert).”
“The atmosphere was good,” Snook said. “Everybody seemed to be having a good time.”
The Atlantic City show was the only East Coast appearance in what Vans Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman said is the event’s final year.
On Sunday night, after Blink-182 ended the show with “Dammit,” fans were already clamoring for more with some screaming “bring it back” and thanking Lyman for organizing a concert series that shaped American summers for a quarter century.
“It’s not up to me, it’s up to these guys,” Lyman said afterward pointing to the fans who chanted “bring it back!”
Miss any Warped Tour Atlantic City moment? Check out our complete coverage
The Warped Tour descended on Atlantic City this weekend for a two-day concert extravaganza on the beach. Check out these stories and photo galleries below for our coverage from the weekend festival.
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