Memories of drunken concert-goers making a mess of Camden’s Waterfront remain fresh in the minds of some residents as they brace for this Sunday’s 92.5 XTU Anniversary Show.
In 2012, more than 100 people were injured and nearly 200 were arrested stemming unruly crowds outside of Susquehanna Bank Center. According to reports, arrests were made for disorderly conduct, vandalism and fighting.
92.5 XTU Country Music Station, which works in conjunction with Live Nation and the Susquehanna Bank Center, hosts the show that last year attracted 25,000 people. This year’s event marks the station’s 29th year staging the show.
XTU and Live Nation did not respond to our repeated invitations for comment. An official with the Susquehanna Bank Center declined to comment.
XTU does appear to be taking some steps to try to prevent concert-goers from getting out-of-hand. On its website, XTU issued some ground rules for Sunday’s jam.
*All guests will be encouraged to enter the facility at the start of the advertised show time.
*Underage drinking is prohibited by law and minors in possession will be addressed aggressively by Camden County Metro Police, Camden County Sheriff’s and National Event Services event staff.
*Tailgating will shut down 20 minutes after the start of the advertised show time. Guests will be asked to enter the show or leave the parking lot. Tailgating is not allowed after the concert. All parking lots will be closed at the conclusion of egress.
Bill Hoag lives in Camden’s Victor Lofts, which has a perfect view of the parking lots used for Susquehanna Bank Center.
“I was not aware of the 92.5 XTU Anniversary Show when we moved here in 2009,” he said. “Our first XTU Show in June, 2009. It was impossible to miss: a day-long traffic jam approaching gridlock conditions (starting at 8:00 a.m.) and lots of noise.”
To a certain degree, Bill viewed the activity as tolerable, but concerns began to rise as many XTU concert goers became more violent and disrespectful. “The 2011 XTU Show was our first ‘bad’ show where residents began to get concerned,” Bill said. “The 2012 Show was even worse.”
Hoag describes what he saw or was reported to him.
-Trash, debris, and broken glass left behind by concertgoers in the Waterfront parking lots and in the neighborhood
-Not enough portable restrooms in the Waterfront parking lots
-Concertgoers flying Confederate flags from their vehicles as they drove through Cooper-Grant
-Discovered vandalism to the historic Walt Whitman Arts Center (located on Rutgers-Camden’s campus)
-Discovered feces & urine in the The Victor Lofts’ alcoves
-Discovered women’s panties on the sidewalk along Market Street
“I’m disappointed that no one appears to hold 92.5 XTU accountable for the behavior of its own listeners and fans at its very own Anniversary Show,” Hoag said.
Richard Hollawell, an attorney at Console & Hollawell – a personal injury law firm located in Marlton, N.J. represents a man who claims he was viciously assaulted by some concert-goers.
“He was repeatedly punched, kicked and mercilessly beaten by a group of kids attending the concert,” Hollawell said. “He fractured his orbital, nose and jaw. He has had multiple surgeries.”
Hollawell blames Live Nation for the show’s past problems. “It is required and it agrees via contract to provide proper crowd control measures and security. It failed and repeatedly fails to do so just so its costs are lower and profits are higher. They promote profit over safety.”
Former Treasurer of CGNA and Cooper-Grant resident, Sonia Rivera-Perez wants concert-goers to stay out of the neighborhoods and more police presence. “I would like to see concert goers contained in the parking lots and the concert venue,” she said.
XTU’s 29th Anniversary Concert is Sunday, June 30 at 3 p.m. at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden.
This Sunday’s XTU Anniversary Concert events will be held on two stages.
3:00P Texaco Country Showdown (talent search)4:00P Brothers Osbourne4:45P Bush Hawg5:30P Chris Stapleton6:15P Tyler Farr
6:50P The Henningsens7:20P Lee Brice8:00P Chris Young9:05P Brad Paisley
Tickets are only available through XTU’s “Ticket Runs” events.