A Kenny Chesney concert in Pittsburgh this weekend created a giant mess as concertgoers left piles of garbage, empty beer bottles, and even furniture scattered across the parking lots at Heinz Field.
It took cleanup crews several hours to tackle the mess, which was just out of the way in time for the Monday morning commute. Now some angry Pittsburghers are calling for an end to Kenny Chesney concerts in their city. A “Ban Kenny Chesney from Pittsburgh” Facebook page has been created as an outlet for the anger.
Emotions are particularly raw given that this isn’t the first time a Kenny Chesney concert turned Heinz Field into a garbage dump. Each year the daylong concert attracts crowds of country music fans who drink, fight, and leave behind piles of refuse.
City leaders say this year’s concert was among the rowdiest and dirtiest since Chesney started playing Pittsburgh in 2005. There were 73 arrests and citations, including 10 large fights, and 35 citations for underage drinking. Another 45 people were taken to hospitals and 150 people were treated in and around the stadium.
The garbage cleanup was worse this year as well, with crews working 15 hours to collect all the garbage, up from 12 hours last year.
Some Pittsburgh officials say the Kenny Chesney concert mess is the result of a few bad apples.
“I’ve got to be honest with you: It’s a long day, and a few folks are consuming excessive amounts of alcohol and causing some grief,” said Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Michael Huss said.. “A lot of people attend without incident and are respectful. But there’s always going to be some that are out of hand.”
But on the Kenny Chesney Facebook page, angry Pittsburgh residents spoke out against the country music fans and pointed out a double standard.
“If this was done at Wiz Khalifa there would be hell to pay and racial slurs thrown left and right,” wrote Facebook user Whitney Hodgson. “This is beyond ridiculous. It’s disgusting. It’s trashy. And it’s pathetic.”
Officials said the Kenny Chesney concert drew 58,000 people to Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field.