Kenny Chesney, the country crooner known for his songs about a laid back, easier way of life, like “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problems,” saw a few problems at his recent Pittsburgh concert. While one may argue that seeing a number of problems related to alcohol consumption at a concert is precisely the reason why singers have security at venues, seeing 25 people sent to hospital for problems and injuries involving alcohol intoxication is still troubling. It’s also not the first time that Kenny Chesney has seen issues in Pittsburgh; his 2013 concert saw 73 arrested and tons of trash left at the venue, according to The Statesman.Daily American reported that there were 30 tons of trash left by patrons following the 2013 concert.
In an effort to prevent another mass dumping of trash, concert organizers handed out trash bags and told concert-goers, “No shirt, no shoes, no litter,” a riff on the Kenny Chesney song “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problems.”
25 people got taken to hospital during a Kenny Chesney concert https://t.co/IKFIuJ82fi
— TIME.com (@TIME) July 4, 2016
WPXI reported that thousands were “drawn to the North Shore” for a pre-party prior to the Kenny Chesney concert at Heinz Field. According to the station, there were traffic snarls, long lines and plenty of tailgaters prior to the concert, and it was estimated some 15 thousand were there for the party before the concert alone. It would appear, however, that the pre-party may have led to some fistfights during the Kenny Chesney concert, where 25 were taken to hospital and there were 57 medical transport calls made.
One officer reportedly injured his thumb as he tried to break up a fight.
Public safety director Wendell Hissrich said that there has been a bigger crackdown on alcohol consumption at concerts such as the Kenny Chesney event on July 2. Hissrich said that by keeping an eye on the alcohol consumption by fans, many fights can be avoided, never mind the medical calls that might occur.
Among the arrests that occurred, there were two defiant trespasses, one person arrested for intoxication, one robbery of tickets, one person arrested for simple assault and one non-traffic defiant arrest made.
Kenny Chesney also made headlines June 25 for reporting that Officer Christopher Dorman had been killed during a Philadelphia drug bust the day before. According to Taste of Country, Dorman had been shot seven times and was so upset about missing Kenny Chesney’s show at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia that he tweeted a video to the singer.
Chesney, however, was caught up in the emotion of the moment and inadvertently announced that Dorman had passed. It was a moment where the singer said that he was “not as clear as he should have been.”
“I heard about it right before I hit the stage, and it stopped me in my tracks,” Kenny Chesney said. “Someone whose life was on the line, and after all that bravery? As anyone in the stadium knows, I kept pausing, trying to collect my thoughts.”
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) July 3, 2016
Chesney made things right by Dorman, though; he called the officer in hospital on the day after the concert and told him that they would get together to watch a Philadelphia Eagles game and drink some beer.
In Pittsburgh, though, Kenny Chesney’s easygoing charm and humor was not enough to numb fans from the chaos that occurred during the concert. It took fans a bit to process the sheer amount of garbage left behind, even though the field was not as badly trashed as it had been in the 2013 concert. Those in charge of the public safety, however, were pleased with how the event was handled by authorities.
“(I’m) Proud of the way the officers were able to maintain public order despite an incredible amount of alcohol being consumed by people having a hard time controlling it,” Pittsburgh police chief Camron McLay said of the Kenny Chesney concert.
After the experiences of this recent Kenny Chesney concert, officials are now tightening security further in preparation for the upcoming Guns N Roses concert.
[Photo by Eric Jamison/Invision/AP, File]