Crackdown on alcohol this summer at SPAC

Many layers of law enforcement announced today that they will be cracking down on illegal alcohol consumption in Spa State Park this summer during Live Nation concerts at SPAC. Among the points of emphasis: the park is an alcohol-free zone before, during and after concerts. From the release:

"... uniformed and plainclothes police officers and investigators will be looking for violations of the law and taking strong enforcement action which will include making arrests, issuing tickets, impounding vehicles, confiscating and discarding alcoholic beverages and ejecting violators from the park and concert venue."

Officers will also be using alcohol sensors to detect alcohol in unmarked containers.

(Thanks, Erik)

Disclosure: Yep, SPAC's classical series advertises on AOA


Good thing I gave up on concerts at SPAC two years ago.

You have the beer prison in the venue and now the beer gestapo in the park.

It's really sad what SPAC has turned into, Live Nation ruined what was once wonderful place to see a concert. I will NEVER give Live Nation another one of my dollars to see a concert in that venue.

Thank goodness the Jazz Festival is exempt from such foolishness.

why exactly? because you can't get drunk wherever you want to?

i'm not saying this isn't all annoying... but people need to chill with going extreme... there's no reason that something can't be done to try to curb the amount of stupid kids that end up face down in the middle of the lawn during a show... so, sure.. those of us that know how to behave responsibly should still be able to and fine... those that can't should find something else to do..

for me, SPAC is a special place and no matter how much of this stuff that goes on, i'll still go to see the bands i want to see...

i'll be there sunday, and i'll be there the 19th/20th weekend, and i plan to still pull of a sublime time.. irregardless of any of this "crackdown"

@bickersmith - you have to admit though, this is getting kind of insane with the crackdown.

The beer tent area is ridiculous. For a grown adult, after spending $10 on a beer, I don't want to be put into a corner because kids are REALLY stupid. The same people that end up face down in the middle of spac will continue to do so, gestapo or not.

What I find amazing is that people just can't go without a beer for a couple hours and are actually willing to pay $10 and stand in a tent away from the show to drink it. Now that's pathetic.

But I'll still be able to get a contact high on the lawn, right?

Bickersmith - I'm not looking to get drunk where ever I want to because I'm not looking to get drunk. I'm looking to be able to enjoy a drink with my friends without being harassed or being locked in a cage.

The DMB show is always a sh*t show because the crowd is mostly 15-25 year old frat boy wannabes who can't control their alcohol intake. Cracking down for that makes sense but for the concerts that draw an older crowd, I just don't think the same extremes need to be taken. The rest of us get punished for the few concerts that draw a young and rowdy crowd.

I gave up on SPAC for "popular music" around 10 years ago, and have no regrets, though I do still attend the occasional Jazzfest and classical performance. Ridiculous ticket prices, horrendous parking, beer corral, SS-style law enforcement, drunken/stoned sub-morons and mediocre acts. I no longer relish the company of 30,000+ people "enjoying" music with me - not that they pay much attention to "the act" anyway... Why bother? Oh that's right, "It's the summer place to be".

I doubt this has anything to do with cracking down on alcohol, and everything to do with SPAC forcing patrons to buy their ridiculously expensive, bad-tasting beer. I have never attended a DMB concert, nor will I ever, but I do attend the Jazzfest every year, and I have never seen any bad behavior there - unless you want to count horribly bad dancing from folks who should know better. The ticket prices for the Jazzfest are already inflated; I'm not going to spend extra for alcohol. What next - we won't be allowed to bring our own food?

this is pretty ridiculous. cant we all just enjoy gettin fu**ed up in public illegally once a year w/ out dealing with this crackdown bullsh*t. kick kids out when theres fights and stuff not when the drinnk

I also gave up on SPAC concerts about 10 years ago - but not because of the beer garden, bad beer or the beer police. I got tired of paying top dollar for tickets and not being able to see the band! I discovered lots of free shows and festivals (namely Grassroots in Trumansburg) where you can stand directly in front of the stage and drink until your heart's content. My advice - give up on the big national tours, it's not worth the money or frustration.

everything we're all saying is true...

and they say these things every year and its always the same...

it was the same story last year right before dmb

ah well!

I went to the Tom Petty/ Allman Bros show in 2006, and aside from the music being amazing, the experience was really annoying. Drunk younguns stumbling around got me nearly vomited on, elbowed in the head and almost knocked down the hill. Our cozy little space on the lawn shrank considerably as our blanket was invaded by douchebags stomping all over the place. I know I'm making myself sound like a fuddy duddy, but I'm really not. It was that bad. However, as much as I would like that experience to stop, I would also hate it if I wasn't allowed to relax and sip a cold beer while enjoying the show. It's a double-edged sword.
I swore that next time I would sit inside. Sure enough, Tom Petty announced he's coming back with CSN this summer, and I nearly fainted from excitement. But the ticket prices doubled. I can't afford an indoor seat, and the lawn seats alone are $40. What gives? Is this LiveNation's doing?

Honestly, I've never had a bad experience at SPAC, and I've been going there since it's been taken over by Live Nation. I hear stories of the good ol' days when it was much more relaxed, and sure, I'm jealous, but it's still a beautiful place to be and a great time. I'm super excited to see Phish on the 19th/20th and while there will certainly be a big share of winners there, I'll have a great time regardless.

As already stated this is mostly an attempt to force all patrons to buy alcohol directly from SPAC. This raises some questions though. 1. In the wake of closing than re-opening many state parks, is the increased cost of enforcement justified? Many years have gone by with pretty lax rules with few if any major problems. 2. Will there really be tickets issued if found with a beer? This may geberate $100,000s of dollars during the DMB/ PHISH weekends. 3. If no-one drinks any beer at all except in the beer garden and there is a horific and/ or fatal accident doesn't the state carry a serious liability for negligence in serving alcohol. 4. Are the DMB fans gonna poop all over Lee campground again forcing the state DOH to shut it down before the PHISH fans come in. 5. Why doesn't DMB address his fan bases issues?

While I completely agree that there are far too many drunk teenagers at the DMB shows this is a concert and party atmosphere. I drive 3 1/2 hours to enjoy a camping weekend along with some great music and if I would like to have a couple drinks before then I don't understand quite what the big deal is. My suggestion to all attending is to be smart, drink sensibly, don't drive impaired and don't ruin it for those around you. Happy touring and enjoy this great band!

From last year:

So, double these arrest figures this year? Quadruple, 10x?

Police: you have been lucky with fence jumpers for years now. Maybe 2010 is the year that all changes in the face of your new enforcement tactics. Don't think we've forgotten where the weak points are. And you don't have enough stun guns to stop every body.

You know, I've heard announcements like this for other places and events before, only to go there and find out it's the same as any other year. (Live@5) I think the function of the announcement itself is probably meant to be more of the deterrent than any actual "crackdown."

And for heaven's sakes, quit hating on the drunk kids for having their fun, and don't pretend like you weren't ever young, stupid, and making a fool of yourself. I find them annoying too, so I don't go, but I'm not going to complain about it cause it part of the natural course of growing up. How can anyone learn to behave as a responsible adult without the bad experiences that accompany being irresponsible as a youth?

SPAC blows. It used to be great. Lawn tickets were $10, you could sneak booze into the park down your pants, and smoke a bowl in the wooded area on the far side of the venue.

Now lawn tickets are $50, we see whats happening with the booze, and theyve fenced off all the good hiding places. Yeah they sell beer now but its more expensive than it is at Yankee stadium. (im serious)

Just not fun anymore.

There have been No alchhol signs at the entrance to the main parking lot for years, I have never not seen everyone in the parking lot drinking., this is a pile of crap.. as for the rest of the park.. you let people drink at shows like Rush but not Dave matthews which has a younger crowd.. If you don't want the responsability of managing the younger crowd don't bill the shows.. you can't have it both ways.. Won't see DMB there anymore beacuse the show is SO oversold you can't get near the place.. Went to RUSH the other day, beers inside 13 dollars.. That's just plain unethical.. That more than Yankee staidium.. LIVE NATION SUCKS

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