Updated 11:36 a.m. June 3
Kenny Chesney fans defied expectations and tradition by keeping relatively calm while tailgating on the North Shore, with arrests and hospitalizations down from years past.
About 45,000 people had tickets to the concert, and they left behind 25 tons of garbage Saturday night, Pittsburgh public safety spokesperson Chris Togneri wrote in a press release Sunday morning.
Police arrested five people and issued 15 non-traffic citations, while Liquor Control Enforcement cited another 19 people for underage drinking.
Medics treated 78 attendees. Togneri said 29 people were transported to the hospital for the following reasons:
- 18 intoxicated people
- 1 person transported after “multiple people fell on top of each other down the escalator.”
- 1 person burned their hand on a grill.
- 1 person was taken to the hospital after an assault.
- 1 person had a heat-related emergency.
- 1 person was involved in a motor vehicle accident.
- 1 person fell, receiving a head injury.
- 1 person had a seizure.
- 2 people had chest pain or hypertension.
- 2 people had generalized weakness or dizziness.
“This year’s event brought a reduction in unruly and illegal behavior from previous years,” Togneri said.
To be honest, the bar was set incredibly low.
The 2013 Chesney festivities saw 43 underage drinking citations, 36 hospitalizations, and heaps of trash. In 2016, there were seven arrests, 37 hospitalizations and 48 tons of garbage — and, yes, that was an improvement.
This year, police took a no-nonsense approach, using a 27-foot watch tower and warning tailgaters about a “zero tolerance” approach “for intoxication, underage drinking and misbehavior.”
For the most part, the crowds were as well-behaved as you can expect from a parking lot full of drunk people. By the time country music fans headed into Heinz Field for the show around 7 p.m., the lots reeked of urine, vomit and garbage. While some heeded the urgings of the city and actually put their garbage into garbage bags, many others didn’t.
We wandered the parking lots, dodging puddles of vomit and crunching over beer cans, to give you a sense of what it was like.
Overview of the tailgating scene next to Heinz Field.
This giant truck is parked in a compact car space.
Presented without comment.
A tiki truck.
At the intersection of Kenny and Chesney.
Two dozen port-a-potties.
Pittsburgh Police were not messing around today with this 27-foot watchtower.
The cost of tailgating: $50.
A garbage can overflows with recyclable cans and bottles while a recycling can sits empty.
Boats packed the shores of the Allegheny River.
Garbage cans overflowed along the riverwalk.
As Chesney croons: “No shoes, no shirt, no problem.” These guys took the lyrics very seriously.
A flamingo made an appearance.
What seems to be a drawing of a foot … or a potato. Unclear.
A tiki boat.
Along the riverwalk, fans gathered their garbage pretty neatly.
A row of pick-up trucks frames the scene.
Here, fans show how to properly use garbage bags.
It’s called No Shoes Nation, but you definitely need shoes to navigate this parking lot.
Just after the majority of fans headed into the show.
A still life portrait.
Plenty of red Solo cups on the ground.
Miraculously, this part of the lot was spotless.
The gravel lot near Carnegie Science Center and Rivers Casino.
Reminder: This is the parking lot of a children’s museum.
The mounted police unit.
Not a drop of rain.
They call it Chesney’s Navy.
OK, then — good-bye.
Inside the show.