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Erik Burgess, Published February 06 2014

Dozens take a hand in setting stage for Friday night's Timberlake concert

FARGO – It takes many hands to stage a performance as elaborate as the high-profile concerts that have rolled through the Fargodome lately.

It’s no different for tonight’s Justin Timberlake concert.

Heartland Labor, an agency that hires day laborers, put dozens to work Thursday and today on helping set up and eventually tear down the Timberlake set. It’s not the first time Heartland has supplied day labor to help prepare a big concert.

“Just about all of the concerts that come to town, we help out in one way or another,” said Darren Watson, president of Heartland.

The day labor organization ran a classified ad in The Forum earlier this week advertising the need for 60 to 70 stagehands for the Timberlake show. That supplements any help the dome or Timberlake may provide, Watson said.

“It’s not as glamorous as you might think,” he said. “It’s setting up chairs and hauling stuff in and just general labor type of stuff.”

“You know, they’re not working side-by-side with Justin Timberlake,” he added with a laugh.

Reports from recent dates on Timberlake’s tour indicate the show will last about three hours with two intermissions.

Fargo police Lt. Joel Vettel advised concertgoers to take their time and expect delays when arriving at the dome and when leaving.

He suggested using alternate routes to get to the dome, stressing that drivers should avoid, if possible, 12th and 19th avenues north, which he said are often clogged during big events.

“The tough part is, obviously, people have a pre-planned route that they always take to the Fargodome, and it works for 80 percent of the events,” Vettel said. “It’s just these really large events that we see real traffic problems.”

People from out of town coming from the north are advised to take the Cass County 20 exit (also 40th Avenue North) off Interstate 29 and follow that to University Drive, then south to the Fargodome.

In-town drivers coming from the south are advised to use 10th Street and Broadway to go north to the dome, Vettel said.

He said staff will be on hand to direct people to alternate parking lots near the dome, and he cautioned people who park on the street to avoid blocking driveways.

If you go

What: Justin Timberlake

When: Tonight, doors at 6:30 p.m., concert at 8 p.m.

Where: Fargodome

Info: For more, call (855) 694-6367

Readers can reach Forum reporter Erik Burgess at (701) 241-5518