Security Concerns for Asbury Park's Bamboozle Music Weekend

Tens of thousands are expected to descend on Asbury Park this weekend, prompting security concerns among residents

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    Asbury Park police say they are ready for the Bamboozle music festival on the city's boardwalk this weekend, a three-day event with a head count estimated at 100,000, but neighbors are worried nevertheless. Brian Thompson reports. (Published Thursday, May 17, 2012)

    Asbury Park police say they are ready for the Bamboozle music festival on the city's boardwalk this weekend, a three-day event with a head count estimated at 100,000.

    Many residents, especially in neighboring Loch Arbour, aren't so sure.

    "I'm going to be on duty all weekend... watching for bad people," said homeowner Barbara Gassaro.

    A neighbor, Tom Collins, said his wife is taking to heart a warning from village officials to do  grocery shopping early because concertgoers are expected to take up every on-street parking space in town and beyond.

    Resident Geoffrey Stone said he's excited.

    "This is going to be essentially another Woodstock," Stone said. Promoters have said it will be the most attended weekend outdoor concert in the Northeast this year.

    Bamboozle's promoter made arrangements to use the parking lot at Monmouth Park Racetrack several miles away in Oceanport, with a shuttle service to Asbury Park.

    And NJ Transit has scheduled eight extra trains every day, though a spokesman said concertgoers won't be allowed on trains if they haven't bought their tickets in advance.

    "It's going to be horrendous," said Collins.

    Some people are leaving town.

    Jimmy Coll remembers the rioting at the end of an MTV concert weekend in nearby Belmar back in 1992.

    "I'm terrified, I'm not even staying," Coll said.

    He may be overly worried, as officials are expecting a much different crowd to see the likes of The Foo Fighters and Bon Jovi.

    Top-name headliners are Skillrex, Incubus and Mac Miller on Friday; The Foo Fighters and My Chemical Romance on Saturday; and Bon Jovi on Sunday. Other acts include "Jersey Shore'' star DJ Pauly D, Andrew Dice Clay, All-American Rejects, Jimmy Eat World, Less Than Jake, The Gaslight Anthem, Dramarama and Brand New.

    Bamboozle's executive director Scott O'Donnell told NBC 4 New York that more than 300 security personnel will be patrolling the several-acre site at the north end of Asbury Park's boardwalk, while the U.S. Coast Guard will be patrolling off shore.

    He added, "Police will be in the crowd as well, both what you see and what you won't see."

    It is an "all-hands" weekend for the Asbury Park Police force. Leaves were cancelled, and lawmen are being brought in from the Monmouth Sheriff's Office, the county prosecutor and the New Jersey State Police.

    "We feel like we're prepared for the event," said Police Chief Mark Kinmon.

    Follow Brian Thompson on Twitter @brian4NY

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