Traffic Issues Mar Mumford Show

Imagine a nearly perfect concert, where thousands of fans gather in a historic location for a memorable evening. 

Photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
“Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis” at The Town Hall in New York.

Now imagine many of those same fans waiting hours to exit the parking lot following the show. Which part of the evening’s events is most likely to stay fresh in their minds? Unfortunately for promoter Live Nation Canada, traffic issues during egress overshadowed what was considered by many reports to be an epic Mumford & Sons show at the Butler’s Barracks National Historic Site in Niagara On The Lake, Ontario, June 15.

Fans took to Facebook to voice their complaints on the Barracks’ page following the show. “Great venue for a concert as far as atmosphere and outdoor sound BUT the worst traffic experience of my life following. It took TWO AND A HALF HOURS to get from the parking lot to the highway,” one wrote. “Complete shit show after Mumford and Sons concert. No marked parking. Once the vehicle was found, it took an hour and a half to leave the parking lot,” another fan said. “I would not recommend seeing a concert here!!!!”

Live Nation’s Jason Grant told Pollstar the concert – Mumford & Sons’ largest to date – was a “10 out of 10” and that the experience overall was fantastic, minus the parking lot problems. He was also quick to point out Live Nation had done its due diligence in preparing for the evening by conducting a detailed traffic analysis and coordinating with the multiple governmental bodies that control the roads surrounding the site.

“In this scenario, I think for some of the people who found themselves at the back of the line, I don’t blame them for finding it a less than desirable,” he said. “We had done all the planning and assured ourselves that this capacity on the site was totally workable. The circumstances that arose and led to some issues coming out were completely outside our jurisdiction.”

First, it appears many patrons decided to ignore signage and traffic officers, causing some serious bottlenecks at the site, which only has a couple roads leading in and out. This was also Live Nation’s first concert at the Barracks, though Grant said the company benefited from information provided by the promoters of two previous large-scale shows in 2012 and 2013. As for whether the traffic woes could keep the promoter from choosing the Barracks as a concert site in the future, it’s too soon to tell.

Grant said Live Nation still plans to review the issues that arose with local authorities. “It’s a beautiful site, it was an incredible event,” he said. “The fans loved the site and we loved it. I wouldn’t want this to dissuade other people from using the site.”

In other Mumford & Sons news, the band postponed Wednesday’s show at Chicago’s Montrose Beach to Friday, June 19.

“Despite huge efforts against really unfavourable weather, the local promoters have been unable to build us a stage in time for the show tonight,” Mumford and Sons posted on Facebook Wednesday. “It takes a lot for us to pull a show, it’s something we try to avoid at all costs, but tonight it’s just not going to happen. Of course we are devastated. … If you can’t make the show on Friday, you can instead redeem your tickets at our Waverly GOTR Stopover this weekend, all details will be posted on the Gentlemen of the Road website.”

The band added that if neither of those options work, full refunds are available by clicking here.