CLEARWATER - Coachman Park was taken over by fans of hip-hop, rap and reggae music last Saturday, as WLLD radio produced the WiLDSplash 2006 concert.
According to Clearwater Police spokesperson Wayne Shelor, the concert was a sell-out, with all 12,500 tickets purchased by Friday night. There were an additional 2,000 complementary tickets issued, bringing total attendance to just under 15,000.
The concert caused traffic snarls throughout the day until 9:30pm, with extended periods of gridlock downtown according to Shelor.
The event lived-up to its name, with 110 medical treatments (3 taken to a hospital), 39 ejections for disorderly conduct, 1 felony arrest and 2 misdemeanor arrests according to Shelor. He said that CPD had high visibility during and after the concert, but used a lot of restraint and tolerance in controlling the crowd.
Shelor said that crowd control issues, including fighting, worsened as the concert ended, with a large uncooperative crowd gathering at the intersection of Drew and Ft. Harrison on the street, sidewalk and a parking lot.
While there were issues with the behavior of the crowd, there were none with the concert's emcees. This was the first Coachman Park event subject to a contract clause that would fine the radio station $2,500 for each on-stage utterance of the F-word by its employees. According to Clearwater's Assistant Director of Public Communications Joelle Castelli, there were no fines levied.
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