STAMFORD —Shaggy kicks off 2019's Alive@Five concert series in downtown Stamford tonight. But this isn't the 90s sensation's first rodeo. In 2015, Shaggy closed the Alive@Five season, and created somewhat of a mass pandemonium.
A crowd of more than 10,000 people gathered in and around Columbus Park for the season’s last Alive@Five concert featuring Shaggy in August 2015, forcing police to stop arriving concert-goers from entering the venue.
Capt. Sue Bretthauer said it was the first time over the course of this summer’s six-concert series - which also brought Boyz II Men, Guster and Andy Grammar to the city’s downtown - that the entrance had to be closed.
Bretthauer said entry lines into the concert were shut down at 6:50 p.m., when the capacity inside the venue reached about 8,000. At the time, there were between 2,000 and 2,500 waiting to get in.
Bretthauer said Metro-North Railroad quickly issued announcements at area train stations letting would-be concert-goers know that the venue would not be letting anyone else inside.
With so many people in and around the park, the 26 officers supervising the crowd were soon augmented throughout the evening by another 25 officers drawn from patrol and the detective bureau.
Five state troopers were also on hand, and they ended up closing Washington Boulevard between Tresser Boulevard and Broad Street because there were so many people on the state-controlled street trying to catch a glimpse of Shaggy.
Fans lined streets and sidewalks, climbed trees and peered through the mesh covering the fences that surrounded the park.
Still, with some crowd members drunk and others disappointed they were unable to get into the concert, order was difficult to maintain and several arrests were made of people refusing to get out of the entry lines, as well as those fighting inside the venue and bars, Bretthauer said.
At least two concert-goers posted videos on Twitter of a brawl that broke out after dark and numerous arrests were made.
The following year, the concert series was turned into a 21-and-over event prompted by a number of hospitalizations during the 2015 season.
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