Headaches nil on North Shore with Swift concert crowd
Tens of thousands of music fans on Saturday flooded the North Shore for the second weekend in a row.
The similarities mostly stop there.
Alco Parking General Manager Ralph Reetz said Alco hired one police officer to patrol its lots for the Taylor Swift show at Heinz Field. Last weekend's Kenny Chesney concert required four.
“If I had to work a concert, this is the one I'd want to work,” Reetz said.
Trucks gave way to minivans. Loud, drunk 20-somethings were supplanted by squealing little girls. Beer was replaced by lemonade.
“We've been saying the whole time how nice the crowd is,” said Nancy DiVencenzo of Murrysville. She and her daughter Juliana, 11, attended the show with a group of friends. Parked in a lot on West General Robinson Street, they set up a table with a checkered tablecloth, mason jars of lemonade and a vase of flowers.
Tickets to “The 1989 World Tour,” DiVencenzo said, were Christmas presents for the four girls.
Lot attendants handed out garbage bags for tailgating fans, as they did for Chesney, but Reetz said he expected a much easier cleanup than last weekend.
Pittsburgh police reported no arrests on the North Shore or Downtown. They made 10 last weekend.
Traffic was heavy Saturday, but officers were posted at key intersections along West General Robinson and Reedsdale Street.
The show started at 7 p.m., and Swift's fans couldn't wait. Most headed for Heinz Field early. Girls as young as 7 wearing Swift T-shirts and big, plastic sunglasses with red lipstick — as Swift does — clutched their parents' hands. Some posed for selfies in front of Swift's branded tour trucks.
Sisters Kelli Costa, 28, Lyndsey Costa, 24, and Maura Costa, 24, of the North Hills said they see Swift every time she comes to Pittsburgh. Lyndsey and Maura attended Chesney's concert and said Swift's fans are all about the music and seeing their favorite pop star.
“People actually want to remember this concert,” Maura said.
Jess Novick worked the outdoor bar at Dominic's Famous Deli on Federal Street. She staffed the bar alone; last weekend, she needed the help of two people.
“It was crazier and way more entertaining,” said Novick, 27. “There were a lot of drunk people, and this is mostly little girls.”
Across the Allegheny River, the Three Rivers Arts Festival was in its second of 10 days Downtown. Thousands of attendees browsed arts vendors and listened to free concerts.
Ryan Winslow, 21, of Oakland took Uber with his friend Matt to check out the festival. They met up with friends who were heading to the Swift show, although they weren't going themselves. They did the same for Chesney, but the mood was “100 percent different” this weekend, Winslow said.
“There's no commotion,” he said, sipping a beer. “This is more family oriented. It's clean and quiet.”