Summer in the Park went through a big change this summer.
The attendance numbers are not in for the concerts which moved indoors to Memorial Gardens for the first time in the festival's history, but they clearly were not at the level the organizers had hoped.
‘I can only go based on the feedback I got from the people that showed up and the resounding feedback from those who were there is that North Bay missed out,” said Thomas Brown, SITP co-chair.
Brown says despite the nice weather, he notes that thunderstorms and rain on Friday and Sunday would have caused problems if the organizers had stayed status quo and held the event outdoors on the waterfront.
“From the technical side, we would not have gotten a sound check on Friday night show which might have impacted our ability to the calibre that DNCE brings because of the lightning storm we were experiencing late Friday afternoon and again on Sunday, our dance party would have been totally euchred if we had that event outdoors,” noted Brown.
Brown says the response about the talent they brought to town highlighted by DNCE and Dean Brody has been good.
However, Brown points out that the ticket system also caused issues for online out of town ticket buyers.
“From the people I spoke to we are hearing there were some struggles with the ticketing system going through the online box office,” admitted Brown.
“A lot of our out of town marketing dollars were focussed on advertising and the way we were going to collect those conversions was through online sales and we were generating a significant amount of interest in purchasing tickets online but people were running into usability or technical issues that obviously hampered the outcome of things.”
Brown adds the feedback was very positive regarding the transportation system which had shuttles traveling between the Northgate Shopping Centre, Memorial Gardens, and the downtown.
Organizers will discuss the future of the Summer in the Park event and if it is worth the risk again if the fans don’t show up.
“I hope the community has not lost sight in the importance to come together and celebrate and with the upcoming municipal election or current municipal election I hope those running for council also don’t lose sight how important it is to bring people together and allow them to have fun and create happy memories together,” said Brown.