Boomsday 2014 going from free to fee

Boomsday 2014 going from free to fee, what will admission get you?

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By LAURA HALM
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Big changes this year to the nation's biggest Labor Day fireworks show Boomsday. For the first time, a premium viewing spot will cost you, because organizers are charging admission to this year's show.

It's a change 6 News first told you back in February.

On Tuesday, more changes were announced. The Vols game against Utah State will move to Sunday August 31, while Boomsday moves to Saturday August 30.

For $20 on Boomsday, visitors can get access to the secured fireworks viewing stretches along Neyland from the G-10 parking garage past Calhoun's.

Children 12 years and younger will get in for free.

Organizers say by charging a fee, they're not trying to take anything away from anyone. They just want to exceed people's expectations making Boomsday bigger and better.

"It's incredible. I used to think it was for me when I was a little kid because it's actually on my birthday weekend," said Knoxville resident Chelsea Bevis.

So, why the fees now?

"Well we want to take Boomsday to the next level. If you've been to Boomsday over the last few years what you were experiencing was there wasn't a lot of programming throughout the day. It was just a huge crowd of people moving around, almost like gridlock," said President of Visit Knoxville Kim Bumpas.

Organizers say program seating doesn't necessarily mean they're the best seats in the house. 

"You're going to have access to bands and entertainment all through the day. Gates open at 2:30 p.m., programs start at 3 and we'll have three different stages. Our headline is going to be on the main stage and that's going to be the Black Lillies," added Bumpas.

But what if you're not willing to pay?

Organizers say you'll still see an amazing fireworks show, but they're working out details on which activities and festival fare will be options for those outside the gated area.

Some say a ticket is something they're just not willing to pay for.

"If you're bringing a whole family with kids, it just adds up," said Knoxville resident James Owens.

While others say they plan on giving it a shot. "I think $20 is something I could pay for an entire Boomsday. Especially if they're offering other things," added Bevis.

Over the next few months organizers will be announcing more events and musicians who will be performing.

Boomsday tickets will be on sale in July.

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