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Bash on the Bay 3 A Huge Success!

- Visitors Flock to the Island for 3rd Annual Concert
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At the closing of the August 2018 Bash at the Bay, Kid Rock was announced as the headliner for the 2019 concert. The proclamation was met with roaring cheers from the crowd and the news spread quickly. For the past year, the anticipation built as countless people prepared for the huge influx of people to South Bass Island.
This year’s concert took place on Thursday, August 29th. Beginning the previous weekend, the city docks started filling up with boaters who had arrived early to secure their dock for the day of the show. The few marinas on the island who accept dockage reservations report being booked up months in advance. By the day before the concert, finding a dock for your boat or a golf cart to rent was nearly impossible. The island restaurants, bars, and shops were also flooded with customers all week. Business owners were happy to see the increase in sales during a week that is normally a slow one on the island, especially after a rocky start in the spring due to inclement weather.
Tickets were available for sale beginning last fall, and they quickly sold out in just a few hours. However, there were tickets available from re-sellers up until the day of the concert, giving last minute fans the option to attend. Property owners near the airport were allotted tickets for the event.
Among those assisting the Put-in-Bay Police Department with law enforcement and safety on the island and at the concert were the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio Investigative Unit, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Parks & Watercraft Division, the United States Coast Guard as well as other neighboring authorities. Unfortunately, there were horse mounted police officers expected who were unable to attend. The police officers reported handing out some citations for underage drinking.
At least one member of the Port Authority, Rick Ziebart, was at the concert seeing how everything went. A post concert brainstorm session with the promoter, Tim Niese, was planned to go over any issues that might be rethought for the next event.
Speaking to some concertgoers, a few improvements were suggested. There was some ambiguity regarding the policy of whether professional cameras were or were not allowed. There was also mention of tickets not being checked carefully enough by security inside the venue, which allowed people to enter sections that they hadn’t paid for. Some fans mentioned that their view was obscured by equipment in the sections further from the stage.
After the show, traffic was brought to a near standstill due to large crowds pouring onto Langram Road heading downtown. There was one accident near Thompson Road involving a 57-year-old female pedestrian who was struck by a truck while she walked with her back to oncoming traffic. She was life flighted off the island with serious but non-life threatening injuries. The driver, a 44-year-old man, was cited for driving while intoxicated, according to police. People heading the other direction on Langram toward the Miller Ferry had a much shorter, better lit walk and no complications were reported.
Billy Market from Miller Ferry reported some interesting facts about the ferry’s operations during the event. Ferries ran 41 hours of continuous service over the course of two days. They started service at 5 a.m. the day of the concert and ran until 9 p.m. the next evening. Ferries made 109 round trips to Catawba from PIB. That’s close to 700 miles covered back and forth across the lake. Approximately 3000 hours of labor were put in by the staff and crew to make this happen. Thanks for all the hard work!
We also have to congratulate concert promoter Tim Niese on his planning skills which were so important to making the event a success. If anyone wonders about his dedication to detail and making the event a success, he was seen the next morning picking up the last bits of litter left by the crowds at the airport. As with the previous two concerts, you would never have known the next morning that a huge concert had taken place just hours prior.
Like the previous two years, the 2019 Bash at the Bay was considered a huge success. Crowds and excitement for this event continue to grow each year in response to this emerging island tradition.