Crews work to ready the stage for the Cavendish Beach Music Festival. Over the next five days, more than 100,000 people are expected to file through the gates to hear some of the biggest names in the music business. Guardian photo
More than 100,000 people are expected to pour through the gates of the Cavendish Beach Music Festival over the next five days.
Forget about nailing it down to the country genre, some of the biggest names in the music business today - Taylor Swift, Keith Urban and Lady Antebellum - are headlining the event.
Last year's inaugural festival, featuring the likes of Tim McGraw, Reba McEntire and Big and Rich, pulled in an estimated 40,000 concertgoers.
Well, the names this year are about as big as they get and ticket sales are proving that.
Jeff Squires, one of the founders and organizers of the festival, said single-day and weekend passes are still on sale.
"I think over the five days this year we'll probably see, I'd say, 100,000 people coming and going," Squires said when asked how ticket sales were going.
"I think it's a testament to the quality of talent. We have a world-class lineup on stage this year."
Even hard-core rock fans, such as the ones who frequent C103's website (classic rock radio station in Moncton, N.B.), are calling the Cavendish festival one of the best lineups of any outdoor music festival in North America.
Swift's album Fearless has produced number-one singles on Billboard's pop and country charts. The album itself has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. Not bad for a 20-year-old woman who was singing karaoke a decade ago.
Urban is promoting his fifth studio album Defying Gravity and has been nominated by the Country Music Association (CMA) for entertainer of the year and male vocalist of the year four years in a row.
Lady Antebellum is one of the hottest growing bands in pop and country, nominated for numerous Grammys. They were voted top new group by both the CMA and Academy of Country Music Association.
A month ago, the band crossed over and had the No. 1 hit on the pop charts with American Honey.
The site itself has been giving an overhaul leading up to this year's festival.
A new permanent stage is one of the more obvious changes.
"We've done quite a bit, adding gravel and pavement to the different areas to make the parking lot friendly, in whatever kind of weather, the main pedways, the production building, the mix stations, the corporate area are all permanent buildings with permanent outfittings to accommodate the people that we're going to be (hosting) over the next week," Squires said.
Halifax-based Source Security has been contracted to provide on-site security.
Exactly how many personnel Source will have on will vary but the numbers could be anywhere from 125 to 150 people.
Off-site security duties will once again be handled by the RCMP. The national police force will also have a Mobile Command Unit set up at the site.
Mike Cassidy, who owns Trius Tours, has set up a festival transit service to handle transportation needs for the Cavendish event.
Cassidy says there will be four designated parking areas. It will cost concertgoers $10 to park but the bus to the concert site will be free.
There will also be a shuttle service provided for those camping in the area.
The marshalling area is directly across the street from the concert site.
In addition, Cassidy is offering to bus people in from Charlottetown but reservations are required and the cost is $30 per day or $95 for a weekend pass (Thursday to Sunday).
"We will wait for the evening festival to end and we'll have buses going back and forth, taking everyone from the venue back to their designated parking area," Cassidy said.
He expects the heaviest demand for buses will be on Saturday when Swift performs. Cassidy said he'll have 35 to 40 buses on hand.
The four designated parking areas are P1, Cavendish Boardwalk; P2, Cavendish Tourist Mart; P3, Avonlea Village; and P4, just east of Cavendish Corner.
There will also be a designated area for passenger vehicles and taxis dropping people off and picking them up, also just east of Cavendish Corner.
Cassidy highly recommends those coming in from the west, such as Summerside, head to either P1 or P2 and those travelling in from the east, such as Charlottetown, use P3 or P4.
Once the shows are over, traffic will only be permitted to exit
west out of P1/P2 and east from P3/P4.
"There will be someone in the parking lot itself to guide you with flashlight wands and we will have RCMP strategically placed at all these so-called highway road points."
But, regardless of how well things work, it will take time to get everyone out of the area.
"People have to have patience," Cassidy said.
- A bus service from Charlottetown is being offered to the Cavendish Beach Music Festival and a shuttle service for those staying in Cavendish is also being offered:
- Bus service (reservations required):
- Limited seats available. For reservations, call 566-5466 or toll- free 1-877-286-6532.
- Cost is $30 per day or $95 for four days.
- Thursday and Friday: Bus leaves from Confederation Centre transit stop on Grafton Street, 3 p.m.; from Charlottetown Mall transit stop, 3:10 p.m.; from West Royalty Community Centre, 3:15 p.m.
- Saturday and Sunday: From Confederation Centre transit stop on Grafton Street, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.; from Charlottetown Mall transit stop, 11:10 a.m. and 3:10 p.m.; from West Royalty Community Centre, 11:15 a.m. and 3:15 p.m.
- Buses will depart Cavendish 20 to 30 minutes after the final act. Other group pickups available upon request along routes.
- Taxi information: Taxi companies will be given the parking plan and directed to let customers off at the identified dropoff points east and west.
- Shuttle service: (Cost: $5 each way) Prince Edward Tours will be providing shuttle service around Cavendish to/from the festival.
- Pickup/dropoff locations for shuttle: Marco Polo, in front of the rec centre; Dow's Shopping Centre; Sunset Campground, old trolley stop; Cavendish Campground. Departures every 10 to 15 minutes starting Thursday/Friday at 4 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday at 11 a.m. Due to the large number of people expected, shuttle service will be limited and will be first-come, first-served.
On the Net: www.cavendishbeachmusic.com