New Haven Register (Sunday) (New Haven, CT)
Chili Peppers, Mayer, Morissette to perform at Conn. music festival
The Red Hot Chili Peppers and John Mayer will lead the 2023 Sound On Sound lineup in Bridgeport’s Seaside Park on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.
Mayer was announced as a headliner for the festival in January; Red Hot Chili Peppers and others were announced March 7. Alanis Morissette, Hozier, Trey Anastasio Band, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Dispatch, Lord Huron and Mt. Joy are among the other big names announced. In total, 22 acts will play over the two-day festival. The Red Hot Chili Peppers will headline Saturday while Mayer will headline Sunday.
This will be the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ first concert in Connecticut since 2000 when they performed in Hartford as part of its “Californication” tour.
Tickets went on sale for Citi cardmembers last week and opened to the general public on Thursday,. Red Hot Chili Peppers will headline Saturday and Mayer will be the main event on Sunday. General admission prices are $189 for a one-day Saturday pass and $179 for a one-day Sunday pass; twoday passes are $279 (prices do not include fees).
According to Howard Saffan, President of the Hartford HealthCare Amphitheater, who is putting the festival on along with Founder’s Entertainment, there will be approximately 15 percent fewer tickets this year than there were in 2022. According to organizers, the festival drew around 48,000 people total to Seaside Park last year.
Thomas Gill, the Director of the Office of Planning and Economic Development in Bridgeport, said that 1,000 two-day tickets have been set aside for Bridgeport residents. Those will be able to be claimed at a reduced rate on a firstcome-first-serve basis. Tickets will be made available online for residents to claim at a future date.
Ticketing types have also changed this year. Both single-day and two-day tickets will be made available on day one of the on-sale. Ticketing types this year include: General Admission, Premier Seats, VIP East, VIP West, Sky Deck and Super VIP. All ticket types will be available as single or two-day tickets except Super VIP.
Premier Seats will be stationed in front of General Admission and include a first-come-first-serve style of seats. VIP is split up this year by East and West sections, which allows easier access to amenities, according to organizers. VIP tickets holders will have access to the front of the stage and to other amenities such as free WI-FI, separate bars and air-conditioned bathrooms. The Sky Deck will offer similar amenities as VIP, but from a raised platform in the crowd. Super VIP gives access to attendees to have either front row viewing or viewing from the side of the stage. They will also have access to catering, a private lounge, merchandise and golf cart shuttles.
Fairfield native Mayer leads a cast of musicians with local roots, similar to last year’s acts of Drew Angus and Charley Tiernan. Local acts this year include Sammy Rae & The Friends (Derby), Julai and the Serotones (Bridgeport) and Deep Banana Blackout (Fairfield).
In addition to dropping its lineup, the festival has also announced a number of organizational changes ahead of its 2023 iteration, which include doubling event space by moving the festival to another part of Seaside Park, offering three times as many food and beverage options, upgraded restrooms with flushable toilets and adding Wi-Fi and mobile towers.
After complaints from the first day of the festival last year, Tom Russell, cofounder and partner of Founder’s Entertainment, said that his team went through every piece of feedback given to Sound On Sound in order to build this year’s festival.
“After last year’s festival, we read every piece of social media out there. We talked to hundreds of fans on the phone. We read our survey results with a fine-toothed comb. We looked at the complaints and addressed every single one of them,” Russell said. “A lot of them were well founded, and we made it our mission to make sure that this year’s experience is nothing short of perfect.”
Russell said that “everything about this festival is new” for 2023 and that it “speaks to the taste of Fairfield County.”
Some new elements that attendees can look to in 2023 include a new stage setup that will utilize a “turntable” platform that allows for one act to set up while the other band is performing on stage, and a 65-foot Ferris wheel that will overlook Long Island Sound. Organizers also confirmed that the layout of the crowd will change this year, including expanded VIP areas and a dedicated chair and blanket zone in the back.