Deaths, Arrests Lead To PNC Ban

Drinking in the parking lot of the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J., is now banned following two deaths and more than 80 arrests during an August 16th Ozzfest tour stop.

Police are investigating the unrelated deaths of two men, ages 24 and 26, who reportedly passed out at the concert and later died, possibly after ingesting a combination of cocaine, marijuana and alcohol. Autopsy results are pending.

Of the 83 arrests made at the concert, 59 reportedly were for underage drinking. Other charges included distribution of drugs, lewd behavior and providing alcohol to a minor, according to police.

Officials with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, which owns the 17,500- capacity venue, said the parking lot drinking ban is necessary under the circumstances.

"We’ve tried to deal with it by enforcing the law, and people have thumbed their nose at it," authority spokesman Joe Orlando said. "So we’re taking the only action we can."

PNC Center officials launched a well-publicized crackdown on underage drinking at the Live Nation-run shed in May in response to underage drinking problems following a Gwen Stefani concert.

Despite the increased presence of uniformed and plainclothes officers at the site, alcohol-related arrests have continued at concerts, including Incubus, O.A.R. and WKTU Beatstock, reportedly numbering 273 in August alone, according to the Asbury Park Press.

Live Nation spokesman John Vlautin previously told Pollstar the company is working with the Turnpike Authority and state police to continue the crackdown on underage drinking and maintain strict protocols inside the venue regarding alcohol sales.