Water, water everywhere — but you have to pay to drink it.
Concert-goers are criticizing a strict new security policy at East River State Park this summer that bars people from bringing in their own beverages — even that most essential of exlixers, H20 — to the free concerts there.
Bottles of Poland Spring water are available for $2 inside the park and beer from Heineken and Brooklyn Brewery, two of the concerts’ corporate sponsors, is available for $6.
But water? Don’t even try it. Security guards are confiscating even unopened bottles of agua and making patrons spill out their portable water bottles.
And concert fans are hot under the collar about the new policy, instituted by the Open Space Alliance, which raises money for city parks and is managing all production-related aspects of the JellyNYC pool parties.
“It’s really concerning because there is many spots to get some yummy Brooklyn Brewery but less water and juice being sold,” said Stephanie Gross, who is also known as a dodgeball referee. “Because there’s beer [on site], the guards are ID’ing people, so there really is no other reason to not let people bring in their own water.”
Last year, JellyNYC managed the show’s security, and barred outside alcohol, but not water.
An Open Space Alliance official said the policy was put in place to prevent fans from bringing in vodka or other clear spirits, and that security measures are a precaution to prevent binge drinking.
Still concertgoers, such as Mike Berlin, noted that the concert’s liquid checkpoints are just one part of a free show that is increasingly having a more corporate feel.
“You have to wait to get your wristband, the stage is now facing the water instead of being in front of the water, and there’s extra security preventing people in the surrounding park area and street from listening to the show,” said Berlin. “It’s annoying.”
Worse, there’s no water fountain in the park.