OXFORD — Town officials are working to ensure that a rock concert scheduled for this weekend goes smoothly.

The concert, Oxxfest, will take place Sunday at the Oxford County Fairgrounds on Pottle Road. The nationally known group Papa Roach will headline the event, along with the locally famous group Dead Season. An additional 25 metal bands are expected to play on two stages. The gates will open at 8 a.m.

The fairgrounds are being leased by New England Concerts for the show, and the event is part of the radio station WCYY’s “Summer Camp” concert series. Caldwell Jackson, a member of the Oxford County Fair Association, said the number of people at the concert should not present a more significant impact than the busier days of the annual fair.

“It’s about the same,” Jackson said. “Friday night or Saturday night we usually have about 6,000 people, and that’s what they’re expecting for Sunday.”

Oxford police and Oxford Rescue will be on scene to provide security and emergency services, Jackson said.

Chief Jon Tibbetts of the Oxford Police Department said concert traffic will be diverted over Allen Hill Road to reach the fairgrounds. The goal is to avoid congestion on Route 26.

The town has approved a mass-gathering permit for the event, with 6,500 tickets available, Town Clerk Ellen Morrison said.

“They’ve experienced a couple of the bands before, but they haven’t experienced all of them before in one setting,” she said.

Mariel Geiger, marketing manager for the Oxford County Fair, said crews would begin working on the stage at 3 a.m. Thursday and prepare sound and light systems on Saturday. She said 3,000 tickets had been sold as of Wednesday, and tickets will be available at the gate.

The last major concerts in town were the Monsters of Rock tour and the Grateful Dead, both in 1988,
Chief Tibbetts said.

“This is the first major concert that we’ve had for many, many years,” he said. “It’s hard to plan for it because we really don’t know what we’re going to run into.”

Jackson said he hopes the concert will prove beneficial to the local economy. “I’m kind of pleased. I hope that everything goes well.”

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