A mid-afternoon Backstreet Boys concert caused massive absences at a local high school as students skipped school to attend the nearby performance.

Key West High School principal Jim Hollins reported about 850 students absent, most of whom went to see the group who were in town as part of an MTV-sponsored event.

"It's like a ghost town around here," Hollins said to the Key West Citizen. "Somebody didn't use good judgment on this if they had waited two weeks, there wouldn't have been a problem."

The Tuesday afternoon concert also caused absences at other schools, but nothing as large as the high school's.

"Let's put it this way, there have been a lot of 'orthodontist appointments' today," said Jennifer Hill, the office manager at Mary Immaculate, a local Catholic school.