People have been allowed to sit in the area near the Deschutes River for many years, but amphitheatre director Marney Smith said a noticeable increase in spectators taking over the grassy area coincided with dwindling ticket sales.
“We’re getting a reputation that we want to nip in the bud: that we’re a venue that people can see the [concerts] for free,” Smith said. “Steve Miller Band’s manager walked over and had dinner at Anthony’s and was astounded and didn’t like what he saw.
“It translates. It’s a small world and they all communicate with each other.”
Ticket sales for the first four summer concerts reportedly were down 19 percent compared with the same time last year.
The policy to close the area to the public was launched for an Aug. 11 concert by Michael Franti & Spearhead.
Acts on the books through early October include Mgmt, Los Lonely Boys and Los Lobos, and