Pops ups the security 4 the 4th

26 Jun



The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular is celebrating 40 years of playing for the Esplanade crowd on July 4th.  You may have seen this celebration on TV, as it used to be nationally televised.  It has been reported that the July 4th crowd exceeded several hundred thousand for the concert and fireworks show.  Aerial shots of the event shows wall-to-wall people.  Several Hundred Thousand! Whoosh!

The Esplanade (field) and the Hatch Shell (stage) is a popular site for many of the walkathons in Boston.  Once upon a time, I was the Walk Manager for an event at the same location that had 40,000 people. I thought THAT was crowded. Multiply THAT by 10 for the Pops concert – then add adult beverages, summer humidity, projectile bodily fluids and inevitable poor hygiene.  Pops Soup.  No thank you.

To claim a piece of Esplanade real estate on July 4, Pops Peeps gather up to a day before the concert to line up for the gate opening around 8am.  Then the initial mayhem begins as those in line are allowed onto the property to claim a piece of grass to babysit for the next 16 hours.  If you are a sponsor, then you are allowed to be civilized and sit in an actual chair in front of the stage.


Sixteen hours.  What to do before the concert starts?  Most people bring a tarp to sit on for sunning, eating, reading and other things outside.  And so, as a result of the Jackholes on Marathon Monday, there are many new security measures in place for the July 4th concert and fireworks.   Do not bother bringing the following:  coolers, glass containers, cans, pre-mixed beverages, and backpacks.  After 4pm, no items will be allowed to be brought in. Period.  Good news for the folks that have permits to sell food on-site.  Bad news for those who were hoping to bring sustenance with them.

Boston Magazine has a fun article every month called “by the numbers.”  This month, they focused on the 4th of July for the Pops Concert.  Since I’m a logistics luva, I found the following tidbits interesting:

4.7  Approximate amount of personal space, in square feet, each attendee will get if the Oval reaches full capacity.

400  Number of people per available portable restroom. 

porta line

I wonder if they will carry-over these security rules to all of the walkathons happening on the property.  Luckily, most of the participants are moving and not standing targets for Jackholes.

I prefer to watch the fireworks from an air-conditioned room, in a recliner with my adult beverage and 10 steps from a private potty 😉




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