A boost in attendance and conflicting downtown events have prompted organizers of the Bayfront concert series to begin charging $5 for parking to cover the costs of additional event staff required by the city.
Mike Randall of McQuaid Marketing, which puts on the event, said even with the new fee, Rockin' on the Bay will lose money.
"The people are loving it and it's getting bigger and bigger each week," Randall said.
The event received its permit at the Naples City Council meeting on Jan. 16 with a few caveats: organizers must staff four police officers and two firefighter paramedics at the event; they must solve the parking problem crowding Bayfront's garages; and they must curb jaywalking across Goodlette-Frank Road. Their permit could be revoked if they receive another verified noise complaint.
McQuaid Marketing gained approval for five concerts but will have to appear before council in February to ask for permission to play the rest of the shows in the 13-week series, City Manager Bill Moss said.
Two downtown events have paid the city to reserve the lot across from Bayfront on upcoming weekends, Moss said.
So instead of parking across from Goodlette-Frank Road or in the garages on Bayfront property, Rockin' on the Bay attendees are being asked to park in a lot off Central Avenue, known as the Pulling property. McQuaid Marketing is renting that lot from the private landowners.
For $5, patrons can park and take a free shuttle to the weekly Saturday concert, which runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
While the event has not received any more verified noise complaints, Bayfront residents continue to have concerns about parking and noise, Moss said.
"The next time the conversation (at council) may be more lively than it was," he said.