A huge traveling musical festival makes its stop in Holmdel's PNC Bank Arts Center Friday, and more than 14,500 people are expected to come to hear bands playing rock, metalcore, street punk and more on a day forecasted to reach a sunny 90°F.
The 41-city Vans "Warped Tour 2012" will feature 50 bands throughout the day, playing simultaneously on the main stage and four other stages on the blacktop. A half-pipe for skateboarders and bikers is also part of the scene. Many vendor tents will ring the performance area. The show starts at 11 a.m. and goes until dark.
"Based on the history of this event, we are really in high preparation mode," said Andrew Caruso, the director of operations for Monmouth Ocean Hospital Service Corporation (MONOC) mobile health services, which is the exclusive provider of EMS at the arts center.
Last year's Warped Tour event at Monmouth Park in Oceanport was held on a 94-degree day with a heat index of 104. Volunteer first aid squads dealt with 301 patients; 41 had to be transported to area hospitals.
Caruso said he is staffing the event with three separate medical treatment areas and 30 medical professionals -- including physicians -- to assist concert-goers with everything from dehydration, heat stroke, drug and alcohol related conditions, skateboarding scrapes and mosh-pit injuries. "We've never had physicians before, but this way we can treat people right there at the scene so they don't have to be transported to the hospital," Caruso said.
But if needed, the local hospitals stand ready. Preparation meetings for the Warped Tour began weeks ago with representatives of Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and Jersey Shore Medical Center and The Monmouth County Office of Emergency Management, which would be summoned for any kind of mass casualty event.
"As of 9 a.m. this morning, we have erected our DRASH tent, which has power and cooling and will allow us to be ready for overflow patients if volume is high," said Tony Cava, the chief operating officer at Bayshore Community Hospital, on Thursday. "We are also staffing up with extra nurses and support staff to be ready, willing, and able to provide care to anyone who needs us."
A MONOC ambulance will also be stationed all day at the Matawan-Aberdeen train station, said Anderson, to assist with any problems with fans arriving or leaving from the station.
Cooling stations will be available, as well as a free filtered-water refilling station so fans can fill up their cups and empty water bottles throughout the day at no cost. Bottled water will be available also for a reduced price of $3.00. "A majority of the people are going to be out in the direct sunlight, and some people aren't very responsible about hydrating and eating. We are going to do as much as we can to combat that," he said.
A team of MONOC professionals will be roaming through the crowds, actively interacting with concert-goers and extracting people who need assistance. An all-terrain mini-ambulance will also be employed to get to hard places.
Stepping up patrols in and around the PNC will be Holmdel Police, New Jersey State Police and additional security guards from LiveNation and PNC Bank Art Center.
The MONOC team, whose offices are based in Wall Township, has 20 years of experience working events at the arts center. "It's nothing new for us," said Caruso. Still, the dynamic nature of the Warped Tour will leave everyone guessing to how it will play out on game day.
Because the concert line-up is not announced until the morning of the show, a large number of ticket buyers are expected to line up early.
Tickets are available at livenation.com for $46.50.
In preparing to attend the festival, Vans Warped Tour offers the following suggestions of things to bring:
- Small, lightweight backpack, sunscreen, a small, homemade snack, one sealed bottle of water, camera, disposable or small digital, Sharpie for autographs and writing set times, fully charged cell phone, comfortable sneakers, hat.
For more information warpedtour.com.