This past Halloween night featured the Nightmare on the Harbor at Patriot's Point, which was indeed quite the nightmare. There were some positives to the concert, but for the most part it was a let down.
The concert was held on the Charleston Harbor Restort and Marina's property and the USS Yorktown could be seen prominently in the background. Concert-goers were encouraged to wear Halloween costumes and almost everyone was happy to oblige. The concert itself featured Sky Blu (From LMFAO), Schwayze, and Cisco Adler. One huge positive was that the event benefitted Conscious Alliance, a nonprofit group that runs hunger awareness programs.
The bad dream-come-to-life started immediately upon arrival. Parking was a slow process, which was to be expected. What was not to be expect was the horrid entrance gate. There was almost zero direction to which line you should be in or if there was a difference between the lines (spoiler alert: there was). After standing in a line-turned-massive-glob for 10 minutes, an event worker let everyone know the 21+ line was on the complete opposite side. A large amount of grumbling 20-somethings trekked through the crowd to the other line. No surprise there were plenty of under-21s in the that line who were painfully unaware that they were in the wrong spot.
Despite being in the right line now, we still had to wait a good 20 minutes to get into the actual concert. There was zero direction and the event staff was horribly unprepared for the crowd. Once we got to the entrance, people began pushing and hustling past the ticket-takers, which seemed to defeat the purchase of having separate lines to begin with. It would have been easy to shuffle past"security" without being checked for tickets, alcohol, drugs, or weapons.
The venue itself was nice for a concert and some of the best food trucks were there for the event. Roti Rolls, Tokyo Crepes, and Taco Boy were the most popular of the bunch. There was a small stage towards the back of the crowd where B-Boys were break dancing all night. There were also plenty of port-a-potties and beer tents, which was nice.
The majority of the crowd was well under the age of 21, which had obvious negatives outcomes. The worst was having to deal with a bunch of drunk 16-year-olds. Didn't they have school the next day? However, there were plenty of well-behaved youngins, so not everyone there was a sloppy mess.
The musical artists were less than entertaining. Their sets mostly consisted of playing someone else's music and shouting random things over it. "Party People!" was the favorite thing to shout over whatever hip-hop track was playing at the time. It was rare that two original songs were sung in a row. It was more of a dance party than concert. There's nothing wrong with that, except I didn't pay $35 to hear what amounted to a DJ playing some hits while some other guys yelled phrases over the track. I could have stumbled into any Charleston-area bar and witnessed the same thing. I could be completely off-base with this though. I could have missed the actual concert while I was in the ungodly wait outside the gates.
The B-Boys were easily the highlight of the night. About 10 guys (and a girl) traded moves throughout the night and consistently had a small crowd enjoying their set. There really wasn't anything exciting to watch on the main stage, so this was a nice break.
Overall, the night was a pretty big letdown, but we made our own fun where the event lacked it. The biggest issue was the entrance procedures. There was no direction, no help, no speed, no consistency, little to no preparation and zero execution. This debacle set the tone for the night and probably magnified the smaller issues encountered inside the gates.
Brightsound was (apparently) the group in charge of the event, but it's unclear what influence, if any, they had on the entrance procedures. Improvements are definitely needed for the next event held at the venue.