Bring On The Booze | Alcohol Now Served At Jones Beach

One of the biggest complaints from concertgoers attending events at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, NY has been the lack of alcohol. Over the past few years, only VIPs were able to drink at the venue. Jones Beach promoter Live Nation has implemented a change for this year's concerts in which anyone holding a ticket will be able to purchase alcohol.

[Photo by Dave Vann]

In a story first reported by Glenn Gamboa of Newsday, "Live Nation officials unveiled Backstage Oasis on Friday night, a new, 2,800-capacity area near the stage where concertgoers of legal drinking age can buy alcoholic beverages for the first time at the amphitheater." There is a catch as you can't leave the "Backstage Oasis" with alcoholic drinks. You can enjoy your wine or beer at the Oasis, which features monitors showing the action on stage as well as comfortable sofas and food trucks.

Since the New York State Parks Department owns the venue, Live Nation must abide by a set of strict rules which for years has included no alcohol for us regular schlubs. In a sign of just how rare the no-alcohol rule is, Jones Beach was the only venue run by Live Nation which didn't allow the sale of alcohol. “We want people to have a great concert experience,” Brian Yost, Live Nation’s president of on-site products for its North American Concerts division told Newsday. “And we’ve heard for quite a while from our visitors here that they wanted the chance to responsibly enjoy alcohol at a concert.”

According to Newsday, venue reps have been trying for decades to get the alcohol ban lifted and even formed a committee in 2012 to deal with the stage on the issue. Live Nation reps went so far as to receive the blessing of Mothers Against Drunk Driving for their plan, which includes "a designated driver program at the venue, increased bus service through Nassau Inter-County Express to and from the Freeport station of the Long Island Railroad, and contracted with a service that will drive a concertgoer home in his own car if needed," as per Newsday.

The "Backstage Oasis" debuted over the weekend at a Barry Gibb concert. Jack Johnson, James Taylor, the Zac Brown Band and Santana are among the acts set to play Jones Beach this summer.

[Published on: 5/29/14]

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