Fishers Parks Dept. finds way to hold concerts

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In a normal summer, Fishers Parks Dept. would present multiple concerts per week.

Although nothing about 2020 is normal, Fishers Parks Director Sarah Sandquist said the department wanted to have something for the public, so it created the Fishers Pop-Up Concert Series.

“We approached this series with caution for changing times and to ensure we could ensure concertgoers would be able to distance and enjoy the concert safely. We intentionally started with a small series in order to gain proof of concept before adding additional events to our schedule.”

Toy Factory performed July 24 with two shows at Nickel Plate District Amphitheater, also called the NDP AMP. Huckleberry Funk, a rhythm and blues band based in Bloomington, is scheduled to perform at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Aug. 21.

“The first event was great,” Sandquist said. “Concertgoers stayed in the squares we painted on the ground and everyone showed up with their mask and kept it on in public walkways where distancing was not possible.”

Sandquist estimates typical attendance for past concerts at approximately 5,000.

“We set our capacity much lower in order to have proper distancing between attendees,” she said. “The capacity is determined by the number of squares on the (amphitheater) lawn and how many people arrive in a group. For example, if every group that showed up as a group of two versus four or more, we would have a lower capacity with the group of two because each group takes up the same amount of space in a square.”

Sandquist said the concert was near capacity for the 6:30 p.m. show and the plan was to clear the lawn before the 8:30 show.

“Our lines were much shorter at the gates for the 8:30 p.m. show so we did not clear the (area),” Sandquist said. “With the mix of 6:30 and 8:30 attendees, we were near capacity.”

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