In one of the biggest events in Santa Clarita since the pandemic, thousands of people attended this year’s first installment of Concerts in the Park on Saturday.
The concert was held at Central Park’s southeastern field and featured the popular Journey tribute band DSB, who started the show at 7 p.m. on the dot. A sea of people laid out their lawn chairs and blankets on the field, with some showing up hours in advance to secure a spot.
City officials said that, before the pandemic, an average crowd size would be around 5,000. This year they estimated it to be close to 10,000. As to why this event had such a huge turnout, a number of factors seemed to be at play.
For many in the audience this was their first concert since the pandemic, meaning bottled-up anticipation, and a return to the way things were, played a part. This could be seen in the way people were dancing with one another, sharing laughs, kids playing catch, and everyone just enjoying the music and being around each other. Even people in the back of the audience – a full football field away from the stage – were waving their arms, dancing and singing along.
David Knutson, event organizer for the city of Santa Clarita, said another reason so many people came out is because of DSB, who Knutson said was quite popular in the area.
A lot of preparation goes into planning an event of this size. Knutson said the city started the process of organizing the concert months ago.
“We started accepting band submissions in September, and then we go review them in November and started booking bands in December,” said Knutson. “So it takes a long time to get everything coordinated.”
Knutson also said it was nice to see everyone back together again.
“It feels great to see everyone coming back out again,” said Knutson. “It’s a huge turnout tonight, lots of people. It’s a great way for us to kick off the first eight weeks of concerts.”
Omar Pacheco, an attendee of the event, said although being in a crowd this size caused some anxiety, it was nice to be back to a concert.
“We feel kind of scared to be honest because, you know, it’s a lot of people,” said Pacheco. “It’s the first time we’ve been out and it’s kind of scary but at the same time we’re really [enjoying] it.”
Cameron Pylant, another attendee, said this was the third time he’s seen DSB and that he loved seeing them every time.
“This is my first concert at the park since the shutdown,” said Pylant. “It’s just great to get out and about.”
Concerts at the Park will be held in Central Park every Saturday until Aug. 27. Next week’s concert will feature Bruno & The Hooligans: A Tribute to Bruno Mars.