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Bakersfield City Council approves fencing for park concerts

UPDATE: The Bakersfield City Council voted Wednesday evening, Feb. 15, to go forward with the proposal to fence off a majority of The Park at River Walk surrounding the amphitheater three hours prior to a concert.

Below is a story, posted Feb. 13, with details of the proposal.

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) -- The city of Bakersfield and Anschutz Entertainment Group are making a strong effort to attract better performing artists to the Bright House Networks Amphitheatre by making enhancements to the venue through seating, restrooms and concessions.

The two organizations host a number of events each year at the amphitheater in The Park at River Walk. Last year, the venue hosted Lynard Skynard, the Beach Boys, Kenny Rodgers, UB-40 and Ziggy Marley.

Over the years, there has been a noticeable increase in "unpaid admission," or people attending events by sitting outside the venue to avoid paying for admission. The city is now looking at fencing off a majority of the park for three hours before a show to secure the area.

AEG General Manager Steve Eckerson said this will help them bring in more high-profile talent.

"It's very challenging to continue to bring in entertainment and have potentially lost revenues. We're trying to at least break even on these shows, and it hasn't been possible," Eckerson said.

The City Council has added the item to it's agenda this Wednesday's meeting. It is listed as a workshop item, so it's likely that the Council will not be taking action on the proposal.

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