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July 18, 2013

Concert turns C'town into Dead haven

The sounds of the band Furthur boomed from Doubleday Field in Cooperstown on Sunday night, culminating an afternoon of souvenir and foods sales along “Shakedown Street,” a marketplace that travels with the Grateful Dead legacy band.

Ticketholders and would-be concertgoers looking for a “miracle” free ticket for admission hovered around the parking lots of the ball field and Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce. There was an odor of beer mixed with smoke as people moved among the crowded stalls. Along with contemporary casual summer attire, some fans wore tie-dyed clothing, bandanas and beads.

Furthur features original Dead members Phil Lesh and Bob Weir. At Shakedown Street, Grateful Dead fans sell shirts, stuffed bears and other goods.

Cooperstown Police Chief Mike Covert said the department was following its plan for security and crowd control. The lots started filling with vendors at 8 a.m., he said, and 12 hours later, no criminal problems had developed and no arrests had been made. Covert did not return voice messages from The Cooperstown Crier left Monday and Tuesday to inquire about reported incidences or arrests after that time. 

State police said they were still “consolidating” reports as of Wednesday. 

A man stading in a doorway of a local restaurant at 9:30 p.m. Sunday said police had made an arrest for drugs. Covert said state police did make an arrest during the event, but no details were available. Medical crews responded to a few calls, but no major injuries or incidents were reported.

Officials made some accommodations for Sunday’s crowd, such as allowing beer to be sold inside the stadium and consumed in the parking lot. Tickets were being sold for $60 at the entrance.

Karen Huxtable-Hooker, spokeswoman for Bassett Medical Center, said the hospital’s emergency room was busier than usual. 

“We needed to increase staffing, including security, to handle the influx of patients. But staff did a great job. All went smoothly,” she wrote in an email. 

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