Huge Mess Left in Wake of Luke Bryan Pittsburgh Concert

June 22, 2014 - By Trigger  //  News  //  82 Comments


It happened again. For the love of God, it happened again.

Last year at this same time as the images and statistics began to stream out in the wake of an annual concert event held every late June at the Pittsburgh Steelers’ home of Heinz Field on the city’s North Shore, people were in shock at the amount of arrests, fights, and trash left by the assembled crowd of pop country fans. Images of the amount of litter were shocking, unprecedented, and had local residents infuriated, many calling to and end to the annual event.

READ: Big Mess & Fights Left in Kenny Chesney / Eric Church Concert Wake

Despite last year’s public outcry, despite movements to ban the event from happening again this year, despite an aggressive effort by organizers to attempt to stem the littering issues by handing out garbage and recycling bags to tailgaters as they entered the grounds, and an onslaught of media on site covering the event in anticipation of a repeat of last year’s troubles, it all transpired again: mounds of trash, multiple arrests, and many fights.

“The continued trashing of our city has to stop,” Bill Peduto, the mayor of Pittsburgh said. “There is no reason … (for taxpayers) to bear the burden for outsized amounts of garbage removal and public safety response.”

Last year it was Kenny Chesney and Eric Church’s name at the top of the marquee. This year it was Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley. But the result was the same. Though some reports are saying there was “less trash” than last year, it seems like that is a statistical footnote as opposed to the true story when pouring over the pictures and watching the reports. Heinz Field was turned into a junk yard, as fist-throwing melees and drunken stupors ensued.

“It’s just ridiculous that people can’t clean up after themselves,” one concertgoer told WTAE in Pittsburgh. Another attendee Shelley Soles says, “There’s no excuse for this. None. Absolutely none. You have a bag. You have a receptacle. Drink it, put it in there. It’s that simple.” 

“We all put it in garbage bags, and that was it. People are just trash.” said Jen Price, while footage rolled of people kicking over full trash bags for fun, spilling compiled trash out onto the parking lot. Other cars purposely ran over assembled trash bags as they left the show.

“There was a lot of fights, a lot of junk. Look at the parking lots for example. I mean it’s just not necessary. Out city is too beautiful for this kind of stuff,” said Dylan Gumbel.

20 citations for underage drinking were handed out by State Police during the concert. Public safety officials also reportedly broke up 15 fights, ferried 34 people to hospitals and responded to at least 150 emergency calls. One patron even tried to steal the camera of a local cameraman reporting on the concert (see report below). A GIF from that report is circulating of a man so drunk, he falls flat on his head (see below). The man was later taken to the hospital.

Once again, the “evolution” artists like Luke Bryan preach about as justification for releasing moronic songs seems to not be evidenced by the fans, even when the mess of last year’s concert was a national story, and organizers put forth extra effort to make sure a repeat wouldn’t happen.


Girl kicks full trash bag, spilling contents:














Posted after last year’s concert:

82 Comments to “Huge Mess Left in Wake of Luke Bryan Pittsburgh Concert”

  • Trash begets trash/


  • So we already know how Jason Isbell would handle this. That wouldnt happen after he had a talk with them during the concert. Luke bryan is just another guy like BG who sing about beer but yet confess they rarely if ever drink…Sell out.


  • I was at George Strait’s concert last month at gillette stadium. I witnessed one guy picking up other peoples trash and putting it in barrels. I know he wasn’t a worker as he was decked out in leather denim and a cowboy hat. Shows the generation and respect gap.


    • I was there too. Difference is that there were fewer ppl at the George Strait concert and many of the fans were older. We’ll see what it’s like when Luke Bryan comes to Gillette in August. Personally, I think it’s more of a Pittsburgh problem than anything else.


  • As stated at the top of the website – “When a culture’s music is lifeless, that culture is bound for more trouble than just having nothing decent to listen to.”


  • I’m not sure I think this has much to do with country music or even these acts (Bryan, Bentley, Chesney, Church).

    Instead I think this is indicative of a culture that has fostered an unbelievable sense of entitlement in the younger generations (i.e. why should I have to pick up my trash?). Couple that with a lack of personal responsibility and you have a large group of people who feel entitled to do whatever they want without any consequences.


    • If it were a generational thing, the same thing would happen at other venues, repeatedly, which it does not. Somebody from Pittsburgh would have to say if it’s happened there for other shows besides the Chesney and Brian shows because I don’t know. It doesn’t seem to happen on this scale at other such country shows–or at least we don’t hear about it. Blaming “younger generations” for it is too easy.


      • By no means do I mean all younger people are like this and I’m not some old man myself (early 40s) but I would bet you that most concerts from the ‘bro’ crowd leave bigger messes than from a George Strait concert like an earlier commenter mentioned. Not this bad of course but still worse.


      • I would caution all of us from trying to lay the blame on one specific demographic or party. I think we’re trained to do that, but in reality the situation is much more complex. This event has been going on for years, and so has the tailgating before it. I remember last year when this happened, a lot of people from Pittsburgh itself chimed in and said they had nothing to do with it, especially the area surrounding Heinz Field. That is why there were petitions to remove it. A lot of the fans come from out of the city, and many from out of the state. There appears to be young and older fans attending. And I also remember last year I was putting together a story where this had happened on numerous stops of Kenny Chesney’s tour, and then stopped when people were complaining I was making too much of it.

        As much as youth might be more irresponsible now, they’re also drilled in public schools about not littering, taking care of the environment, etc. There is without a doubt much less litter today no matter where you’re talking about than there used to be in the 70’s and 80’s. I almost think that one of the reasons this is happening is because it is seen as so unacceptable to just throw your stuff on the side of the road these days, because for whatever the reason, the culture that has grown up around this event is one of drinking to excess before the concert even starts, and throwing your shit on the ground carelessly. You couldn’t get away with this anywhere else. In Texas, they’ll fine you ass from hell to breakfast for throwing a straw wrapper on the ground. And so this event seems to be an excuse to not give a shit, and even laugh about it as the trash piles up, and then kick it over when someone tries to pick up after you.

        I don’t blame the music solely, just like I don’t blame youth solely. It is the culture that is surrounding this event and others like it. That is why worrying about the quality of songs goes way beyond music.


        • Stop blaming the goddamn music ! The artists don’t do this. This is appalling, and Pittsburgh, this is on YOU, and the Morons you allow to conduct themselves like the Heathens they are.

          I was THERE last year for the Chesney show. The “riot” happened right in front of my car. I had a large “party” of folks who drove down from Vermont, and up from Tennessee. I drove from Lancaster PA. There was NO trash from my site. There NEVER is. No matter WHAT city I am in, I NEVER see this………………..you OWN it, Pittsburgh. You try that BULLSHIT in Foxboro MA, and the MA State Police will throw your ass in jail so fast, it’ll make your head spin. Nashville : FORGET IT,……………they have too much pride in their town. Philadelphia ?…….I’d heard so much BAD about those folks, I almost didn’t want to go there for the Chesney show. Ya know what ? Those Philly fans are amongst the NICEST tailgating, party bunch there is, in one of the BEST “sports complexes” I have ever had the pleasure to have been in. What a complet DISGRACE, for the PIGS that go into ANY city and do this, time and time again.
          I was THERE last Summer………………I will NEVER go back there again. I’ve been doing this concert thing for over FOURTY years now, and I happen to throw one hell of a tailgate party,………………..but I never, ever leave my trash behind.
          So, go ahead,…………..SHUT IT DOWN ! Yeah right, that’ll work ! How about you trashing the misfits directly to jail when they pull this bullshit ? Hold them ACCOUNTABLE !!!……………….
          I get so pissed off , when up in Massachusetts, the Mass State Police form their pre concert ” Gustapo “,……………and patrol the lots up there, and rule with an Iron FIST, and HAND. Now you see why they are doing what they do,……………because of heathens like this. At Gillette, now, you can’t get into any lot there until 3 hours before a show. Don’t DARE to even THINK about it, it won’t happen. It SUCKS for all of us who just want to have a good time. It’s ASSHOLES like these that ruin it for all of us who DON’T rip a city apart like this. WHAT A TOTAL DISGRACE………………………………..


          • I gotta agree here I’ve been to my fair share of pop country concerts here in virginia and this don’t happen here. people clean up after themselves and very rarely are there fights even at the eric church and bg shows I’ve been to. the cops are all over people like that. even at the race where the cops don’t bother you unless you’re being ridiculous, people are relatively neat


      • I’m from Pittsburgh and no, this doesn’t happen for any other events besides these Heinz Field concerts. It’s like it’s an all day affair. I was running downtown on Saturday and saw people walking to the stadium area as early as 9:30 and by the time I ran by again at 11 am all the parking lots were full. Considering the stadium didn’t even start letting people in until 4 pm that’s at least 40,000 people drinking in a confined area for at least 5 hours.

        The other big venue in this area is First Niagra Pavilion, which is about half an hour outside of the city, and doesn’t let people into its parking lots until about 3 or 4 pm on concert days and this never happens.

        Even at Steeler games at Heinz field when people get down there pretty early this doesn’t happen. It’s like with the Steelers there’s a point of pride and respect that keeps people from letting this happen.

        Honestly I think the only way to stop this for now would be to push back the opening times for the parking lots until at least 1 pm, if not 2.


        • I agree Tubb. I just moved out near First Niagara and have been to several concerts there as well as the concerts at Heinz Field. For some reason it is just this concert that gets these results. I go to many Pirates/Steelers games as well. Keep in mind I am a male in my 20’s so all of these events usually involve tailgating. I get there early and usually drink more than most; the difference being I was raised in the country and have always had respect for the land no matter how drunk I get. When we are done with tailgating, we always end up with a few bags of CANS (please never tailgate with bottles!) in the back of a vehicle before heading into the concert.

          It has been pretty hard for me to understand how things get this way downtown for this particular concert. One thing that may help would be additional dumpsters to throw the bags in when people fill them up (I have never witnessed an overabundance of dumpsters in any location for this event).

          If this continues the City might end up amending their open container policy for these events which would be no good. People just need to take responsibility for themselves and start having more pride in their city.


  • I have been to A LOT of concerts in my day including those REAL big shows in the early 80’s in So Cal , as I am old. And never have I seen such disrespect as I see now in today’s concert world! I would say you get what you give. If the music industry is going to tell us the trash they are feeding us is good music when WE ALL know it’s not, you only have to look at the collateral damage after the show to know you’re you’re feeding a whole lot of crap while lying to our faces & ears! It’s enough you charge an arm and a leg for a show, maybe with the hundreds of dollars you charge for a ticket, you might want to take some of that money and hire some laborers to clean up! On the plus side, thinking that things are going to change and get better, is fantasy I am no longer holding on to! I’ll make the change, and just stay away! Pretty soon you’re going to need a loan appllication & back ground check just to see some music!


    • It depends on the music. I went to the Willie Nelson/Alison Krauss/Kacey Musgraves concert last night and it was one of the cleanest concerts I have been too then there was a good mix of older people and younger people there. The only thing that really happened was that people were smoking joints but it’s a Willie Nelson concert outdoors. With the Bro-Country crap you get a more low class crowd. Luke Bryan plays there in a couple of weeks and it is sold out. I’m expecting arrests.


  • I was at the Willie Nelson/Alison Krauss/Kacey Musgraves concert in Canandaigua New York last night and the worse offense I saw was a few empty aluminum beer cans rolling around that the couple a few feet in front of me smoking a joint.


  • I bet the grounds after the gathering of the jugalos festival doesn’t even look this bad and people stereotype icp as being god awful. I’ve never been to one but that’s the first thing I thought about when reading this. I’m proud that my crowd of Hank 3 fans and Muddyroots bands would never show disrespect like this….even to a bunch of pop country fans!


  • I’ve seen less trash at Ozzfest. Seriously.


  • I really think you should stop blaming this on the singers and start blaming it on the people of Pittsburgh since they’re the ones who make the mess.


    • Except when you talk to the people of Pittsburgh, they say that many of the people attending this concert aren’t from the city, and are certainly not from the North Shore area where it’s held. Many people in Pittsburgh are petitioning to have the concert removed. They hate that it is causing a stigma for their city.

      “The continued trashing of our city has to stop. There is no reason … (for taxpayers) to bear the burden for outsized amounts of garbage removal and public safety response.” — Mayor of Pittsburgh


      • Pittsburgh native here. No matter what the reason/excuse, this should never happen. Steeler game, bro-country concert, whatever. How humans can gather and be responsible for this crap is beyond my comprehension. It’s truly depressing.


        • I agree Tom; this world’s getting to be a real effed up place.


    • Believe me, the people that actually live in Pittsburgh do NOT want these bro country concerts in the city. I live in the city. The highways into town are backed up for miles the morning of these shows with out of state plates. Most attendees aren’t from here and have no problem treating the city like a dumpster. There are lots of sporting events/concerts/festivals in the city and none those fans crap on the city like young country fans.


  • Given that this happened in the same venue, I wonder if the stadium is providing enough trash receptacles and should share a piece of the blame. Certainly spilling and kicking trash bags around is out of line, but the fact that there are bags of trash lying around to be kicked suggests poor planning. That is not to excuse the mess, of course, but it does seem like a contributing factor. I wonder how it compares to the impact tailgating during football season.


    • They handed every vehicle coming in a black bag for trash, and a blue bag for recyclables. Plus there are trash cans and dumpsters provided as in any parking lot. This is way above and beyond what you will see at any other concert—people passing out trash bags very specifically knowing the eagle eye of the local and national media will be on them. In some instances it appears people actually used the bags. And then others kicked/ran them over to be funny.


    • I live in Pittsburgh and what’s gone on these past few years with the all day Heinz field concerts does not even remotely compare to what goes on for Steeler games.
      These concerts just bring out the worst in people for reasons that are being discussed on this forum.


  • “most shcking”
    “unfathomable ”
    ” for the love of God”

    Dude. . Yes, what happened is despicable. . But there were no loves lost. . So maybe we need to ease up on the dramatics a little.
    Oh the humanity…


    • I agree we should not make too much of this, but I remember people saying the same thing last year after this happened, saying that critics and media were being opportunist, and it was just a random, one-off incident. Nobody has died, but people were assaulted this year, including a cameraman as he was filming, and 34 people ended up in the hospital for various reasons.

      I do think this is unfathomable. Last year when this same thing happened, it became a huge national story. Some think it was one of the primary things that led to Kenny Chesney saying he was taking a step back from touring. Local media had live crews staged in the parking lot. Organizers knew everyone would be watching, and made precautions you don’t see at virtually any other live event. There were lawsuits and petitions to not allow this event to happen. And it still became a big fiasco. That is unfathomable in my opinion, especially seeing how the organizers are probably screwed now, and this event will likely never happen again because they simply could not control the trash. Meanwhile pop country blogs are praising how better it was this year, while the mayor is releasing statements saying “The continued trashing of our city has to stop. There is no reason … (for taxpayers) to bear the burden for outsized amounts of garbage removal and public safety response.”


  • I agree with Trigger …let’s not blame it all on the music . This kind of behaviour is , for the most part , an aberration when it comes to concerts like this .Saying that , I do think that when an inordinate number of songs talk about partying and drinking and sex and you book an act that attracts an audience that kind of song resonates with, you may be asking for some of this kind of grief . I’m not suggesting that is an excuse to disrespectfully trash a public place ….only that you may have to expect the chances of this happening are greater when its an act that promotes the partying lifestyle to that extent .


  • I’d guess it’s a combination of poor judgment + mob mentality + alcohol. While I’m not surprised this happened at a Luke Bryan show, I wouldn’t blame the music too much. Kenny Chesney is not bro-country at all, I’ve seen him in concert and it was a great experience, nothing like this.

    I think people see events like this more as a big party, an excuse to get wasted, rather than all about the music. You’d never see this at a Strait show because people are there to see him perform, not get drunk and act like idiots. The lower quality of the music here might play some part in it (though I would argue Chesney, Church and Bentley are actually good artists), but you get a huge crowd of drunk people together and things often get stupid.


  • I’ve commented a couple times here already, but as a Pittsburgh resident who saw this happening first hand yesterday morning I can maybe offer some insight.

    First off I think the rise of bro-country is a large factor here. We’ve been having these all day concerts via Kenny for years and last year was the first year it really got this bad. Sorry but bro-country just brings out this element in people.

    But on top of that there is the element of this being an all day party. We’ve got a lot of rural/trashy (not that rural means trashy by any means) areas around Pittsburgh that draw people out, so people come from a good ways away for these. They get here early. I saw people arriving downtown as early as 9:30 a.m. Now if you are just a casual tailgater you know you need to get down there as early as possible. The lots were filled up by 11 a.m. So it becomes self perpetuating. Everyone knows if you want a half decent parking spot in the vicinity of the stadium you need to get there early. So it becomes a rush to get here, and when they do, then the next obvious step is to start drinking.

    We don’t see anything like this for Steeler games, and the other large concert venue of the area, First Niagara Pavilion, located about 30 minutes outside of the city doesn’t have this sort of reputation either. A few years ago First Niagara started not opening their lots until mid-afternoon in order to make the area more family friendly, and I think that’s what the city’s going to have to do for these things from here on out.

    We’ll see, next month Jason Aldean is doing a multi-artist show similar to this at PNC park which is pretty much right next door to Heinz field, so we’ll see if the city can do things to curb this from happening again.

    Btw, as far as steps the city has taken so far, prior to this show everyone coming in was given trash and recyclable bags, and they upped the number of ports-johns and cops from last year, and the local news was extensively covering all of this.

    We’ll see what happens with Aldean.


  • How about have a 10 cent bottle return like Michigan has, Bums would be cleaning up the rednecks mess for free.Why do you think Detroit is so clean… o wait


  • I love SCM and can’t imagine life without it. But, this is the lamest article to ever take space on this site and I can’t believe Trig went to the well with it, again.
    It’s 52K people!! I’ll take pictures after the next Steeler’s home game and you’ll see trash! There will be fights before and after the game. People will go to the hospital. It happens when 52k people get together and party all day!
    I’m a huge Hank III fan! Guess how many fights break out at his show’s? I was involved in a fight in 08 in Flint, MI. Another time a show at St. Andrew’s Hall in Detroit had to be stopped cause the venue was stupid enough to sell glass bottles and people where throwing them. Hank III fans spend the whole concert throwing their drinks and fighting! Can you imagine what Heinz Field and the parking lot would look like if 52,000 Hank III fans partied all day there??
    Alison Krauss and James Taylor could have headlined this event and if 52k people attended, there would have been similar issues.


    • I was at a sold out Alison Krauss concert last night and the worst we had were some aluminum beer bottles rolling around and people smoking joints.


      • Where there 52k people at the venue?


        • There were 104,793 people at the final George Strait concert. If there were any problems with trash, fights, assaults, or hospitalizations, I sure didn’t hear about them.


          • Well, that wasn’t an all day event. I’m guessing the gates didn’t open at 10 am.
            I attended the George Strait Country Music Festival three years in a row – Pittsburgh ’99, Nashville ’00, and Atlanta ’01. Nashville felt more like a corporate event and there weren’t many issues. Pittsburgh and Atlanta both had the same issues as the Luke Bryan concert.


          • Well, that wasn’t an all day event. I’m guessing the gates didn’t open at 10 am.

            Exactly, and as Tubb pointed out, that’s probably one of the reasons that is leading to this recurring situation, and one of the reasons it is NOT a common occurrence just because you put 50,000 people in the same place.


    • I very strongly disagree. I don’t think a Hank3 concert with 50,000 fans would see anything like this, as if for some reason Hank3 is the litmus test for any of Saving Country Music’s assertions. Nor do I think this would happen with any given crowd of 50,000. Larry Joe Taylor Festival in Texas draws about that attendance, and it lasts for a week, and somehow they all figure out how to throw away their trash. I think the situation surrounding this concert is very exceptional, especially since it happened two years in a row. I would encourage you to go read Tubb’s comments above, who is a Pittsburgh native and says specifically that Steelers game are nowhere near this bad, and even outlines the underlying problem of the promoters opening the gates too early, encouraging people to show up and drink for hours before the concert.

      Besides, this is not the lamest article to ever take space on this site. That would be this one:



      • I’m a Pittsburgh native, born and raised. I moved away for work to Michigan for 7 1/2 years and moved back to Pittsburgh in November. I go to an average 4 Steeler games a year and I promise you, it’s just as bad especially the Monday and Sunday night games. I’ll send you pictures this fall. The open container law is suspended on Steeler Sundays, so the citations are fewer. But the trash and fights are just as many.

        I went to the George Strait Country Music Festival in 1999 at Three Rivers Stadium and there were similar issues with trash and public intoxication and everyone complained about it at the time.

        But the worst case happen in 1976 when Aerosmith and ZZ Top played Three Rivers Stadium:

        The calamities were Texas-sized. The front page headline the next day in The Pittsburgh Press was “250 Fans Injured at Rock Concert,” many of them cut by broken glass “when bottle-throwing erupted.” The medic on the scene treated people for eye lacerations, drug overdoses, a broken nose and a broken pelvis. A pregnant woman suffered severe burns on her leg when a cherry bomb landed on her lap. At one point, fans rushed a dugout to get on the field, hitting one security guard with a bottle and trampling the other.

        “[It] was the most horrible thing I have ever seen since World War II,” Dr. Joseph Finegold, the Pittsburgh Pirates physician, told the paper.

        Outside, an angry mob of 200 fans pelted two county police officers with beer cans following the arrest of a man on drug charges, prompting city cops to rush to the scene. Fifteen cars were towed on the Fort Duquesne Bridge and just as many on the Parkway West. North Side residents complained of people parking on the sidewalks in front of their homes.

        Two days later came a more ominous front-page headline: “Two Dead in Concert Aftermath.” Hundreds of people had been swimming in the rivers before and after the concert, and the morning after, the body of a nude woman, an unemployed school teacher, was found in the Ohio River near Clemente Park. The other death was far from the scene, a woman with a ticket stub in her pocket struck by a hit-and-run driver in Hazelwood.


        Maybe our proximity to West Virginia brings out some of the more entertainment deprived folks, maybe there’s something in the water. But it’s been this way when large groups of people get together since the dawn of time.

        The Luke Bryan article is dumb.


        • Nobody is saying that what happened here has never happened before in the history of live music events. Of course it has. And it will happen again. But that doesn’t make it right, or doesn’t mean it doesn’t mark a changing of the scene around country music from a family friendly environment to one of drunken lewdness and irresponsibility.

          You can call this article “dumb” all you want, but the simple fact is this concert last year and the mess left was one of the biggest stories all year in country music in 2013, and it will be one of the biggest in 2014 now. It has captured the Zeitgeist. Millions upon millions of people have already seen these images, and million more will tomorrow and during next week. I got 15-20 different emails, facebook and Twitter comments about this this morning. My phone was blowing up with text messages as I was doing my best do zone it all out an write an obituary for poor Jimmy C. Newman for nobody to read. The only was I could stop the incessant barrage about this story was to post about it, so I did. You think I like writing these stories? For many people that read a story like this, I might as well be allies of the people in that parking lot. Look at those pictures, They are the poster boy for country music 2014. And what funny is, these people were made clowns of by the rest of the world last year, and they’re so unaware, they did it again. This story may be “dumb” but it would have been beyond irresponsible for me to ignore it.


          • Sorry. The “Luke Bryan article is dumb” comment was for the vagina article you referenced as the lamest in the history of SCM. I should have typed “lame” instead of “dumb.”
            I understand you feel the need to cover this story, but I feel it’s blown way out of proportion even by the local media. If it didn’t happen in Pittsburgh, I’d probably not even read the article.
            At any rate, thank you for the Jerry C. Newman Obit. and great Willie Nelson review.


          • Don’t listen to these appologizers Trigger. You’re right on the money with this article. This kind of behavior is not normal for a good Country music show, which this wasn’t.

            The only thing I might disagree with is this: I think these kind of crowds, these kind of people, are why this music exists; not the other way around. I disagree with the notion that bro-“country” is creating this culture, rather, this culture, these no count “humans”, caused bro-“country”.


          • I’m with Clint on this. This is an excellent article in all aspects, and the only possible criticism would be that you didn’t go out on a limb far enough and relate it to the demographics, the lyrics, the “culture”. You should have said it straight out. The people who attend this event are assholes, because the lyrics from these bands encourage people to act like assholes. The promoter encourages them to act like assholes, the whole Scene is “Redneck Crazy”, and that’s exactly what they got. The message is clear, “Be Macho”, “Drink Beer”, Be a Rebel”, “Throw Beer Cans on Your Ex-Girlfriends Lawn”, “Fight for your Pride”.

            Compare it to any “Folk”, or “Bluegrass”, or “Hippie” festival, where the ethos is love, harmony, peace, understanding, coexist, etc, and the resulting vibe is completely different. It certainly doesn’t happen at Kerville Folk Festival, Merle Fest, or Del Fest.

            The trash at these shows is not limited to the detritus they leave behind them at this one instant in time. It is also between the ears of the attendees. It is in their attitudes, their habits and their desires.


          • Well, in my article about this last year, I did talk more in-depth about how the culture around the music is breeding this behavior, so I didn’t want to be redundant. Also also don’t think it has ALL to do with the music, just like it doesn’t ALL have to do with Pittsburgh. I think this is the confluence of multiple cultural problems.


        • Whoa now! I live in WV and even though we dont have the giant venues, most of these artists (except Kenny) come here as well. Luke, Aldean, Church, Shelton, Urban are just a few that have had shows here recently. I did drive to see Kenny/Zac Brown at Heinz field a few years ago and had an awesome time but its just not true that we dont get bigger artists to do shows in our state.


      • “as if for some reason Hank3 is the litmus test for any of Saving Country Music’s assertions”

        What?! The foundation of SCM was based on Hank III’s dispute with Curb and reinstating Sr. – (I’ve been reading articles from SCM infancy of which the first 2 months had something to do with Hank III).


  • If they won’t do it of “Faith” then make them pay for it.

    Just have the venue start adding a surcharge on the ticket prices, or start charging (more?) for parking.

    When people complain (and they will) direct them to the “Trash Pic Page” and tell them the tax payers are no longer responsible for cleaning up after your party.


    • I probably shouldn’t have laughed as hard as I did.

      But that was done pretty well.

      Thanks for the link.


  • It is Festival. It is the Red Hour. It is the will of Landru.

    Joy to you, friends–unless . . .You are not of the Body!!!


    • Live Long And Prosper.


  • Like I said last year after the Chesney show, its the same crowd as a Wiz Khalifa concert with different clothes. I live in Pittsburgh. The clip of the guy falling on his face has been all over the news and social media. He is the perfect example of what I said before. He is a ghettofied white kid who grew up on rap music and thug culture. Here are some pictures from his Facebook page so you can judge for yourself:



    This has absolutely nothing to do with country music. The Pittsburgh region is chock-full of people of this variety. They behave the same way at Steelers games and other concerts, and they run amok on the South Side doing the same things virtually every night of the week. To the guy above who said that this doesn’t happen at Steelers games, you must have had your eyes closed for the past 30 years. It might not happen to the same degree at Steelers games, because half of the crowd is in their 50’s or older, but among the younger people in the crowd, it is this exact behavior every week. I used to go to virtually every Steelers home game, and there wasn’t a single game where I didn’t see multiple fights, public urination, girls flashing, piles of garbage, people puking and falling down, etc. I used to go to a bar on the North Shore for Monday night games and the cops working security detail encouraged the girls to flash them. The bottom line of all of this, is that the actions at this concert are no different than the typical behavior that the average Yinzer engages in on a daily basis. A huge portion of Pittsburgh’s lower to middle class white population has digested and fully internalized ghetto culture. They are filthy bums, whose grandfathers would disown them, if they saw the company that they keep. A further indication of this is the huge number of underground hip hop “artists” coming out of Pittsburgh.


    • RD – If you were to guess, how many West Virginia plates do you think were in the parking lots of the North Side Saturday? Don’t get me wrong, I love my brothers and sisters from the south, but they don’t get many opportunities to party down there. Not many huge acts are touring through Morgantown. This was their night in the big city.
      Mix them in with the Yinzers you mentioned and you have one big party.
      But I’m not complaining. I think it’s expected. Look at Time’s Square on New Year’s day, New Orleans after Mardi Gras, Jacksonville after The World’s Largest Tailgate, Woodstock!
      I think the city of Pittsburgh could do a better job at planning for these events, but they never have cared. As long as no one dies, who the f*ck cares?!? There are a lot of city employees getting a lot overtime and time and a half Sunday cleaning. They are happy.


    • “I live in Pittsburgh.”

      I admit that I am surprised. Based on your posts, I assumed that you live in the belt stretching from east Texas to South Carolina and down through northern Florida.


      • What made you think that? What do you think Pittsburgh is like? Do you think its like Philadelphia or Boston, or some other place in the northeast?


        • I am sure that it resembles Philadelphia or Boston far more than it does Memphis or Charleston.


          • Pittsburgh, in no way I can think of, resembles Boston. Pittsburgh might actually be the polar opposite of Boston. Most people in Pittsburgh, although sometimes irascible when provoked (and drunk,) are generally friendly and helpful, while most people in Boston are Massholes, and cower and hide when you say hello to them on the streets. Some are actually so scared when you say hello that they take off running in fear. I can speak to this directly having lived in both places and half of my family being cold Yankees from that horrible place known as Beantown.

            Pittsburgh resembles Philadelphia only because they are in the same state and live under many of the same laws and corrupt politicians.You can’t buy a six pack in a grocery store in Pittsburgh, just like you can’t buy a six pack in a grocery store in Philly. Other than small similarities like that, Pittsburghers are totally different from Philidelphians. I live much closer to Buffalo, Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, Detroit, the entire state of WV, most of MD, the western half of VA, etc. than I live to Philadelphia. I would argue that Harrisburg is the dividing line. West of that is a mixture of Midwestern/Appalachian with a tinge of the South, while Harrisburg east is most certainly the northeast. Is Buffalo more like NYC or Erie/Cleveland? You probably wouldn’t know.

            The northern panhandle of West Virginia extends to the north of Pittsburgh. This means that prior to the western counties of Virginia being illegally organized into a new state, a portion of the state of Virginia extended to the north of Pittsburgh. I know that my own neighborhood was settled by moonshine-making Virginians, not other Pennsylvanians from the eastern part of the PA. They fought bloody battles with the federal government over taxation of their whiskey before moving on to Kentucky and Tennessee where there was less law.


        • None of that proves any similarity between Western PA and the Deep South.

          The history of settlement in the Midwest is something that I have read about rather thoroughly and discussed with quite a few online commenters. Regarding your arguments:

          1) Western PA was overwhelmingly settled by people from eastern PA during the second half of the 18th century and stretching into the 19th. The largest boom in settlement came right after the Revolution, when veterans from eastern PA were awarded free land in the west. The eastern PA settlers far outnumbered any settlers that might have come from Virginia. Virginians largely settled in Kentucky and Tennessee. It might be interesting to note that Kentucky was considered much more fertile and less dangerous (in terms of Native American attacks) than western PA back in the 18th century.

          2) Prior to the Civil War, western PA was consistently more anti-slavery and pro-Republican than eastern PA. In fact, Lincoln (and Republicans in 1856 as well) did better in western PA than in any other part of the state except for the Far North (“Yankee”) influenced northern tier of PA.

          3) Northern West Virginia has actually historically been more Northern than Southern culturally. It originally received more settlers from PA than from VA. These counties in West Virginia were the very ones that led the movement to secede from Virginia and rejoin the Union. Here’s a very informative map:


          Of course, far more important than 200-year-old settlement patterns and 150-year-old political patterns are the more general historical experiences. The South (particularly the Deep South) was historically defined by slavery and then Jim Crow, as well as very low levels of immigration over the last 200 years. On the other hand, Pittsburgh, just like Boston and Philadelphia, were characterized by the lack of any race-based social structure as well as by massive immigration to fill industrial jobs.


          • 1.) After the French were pushed out, the area of Western Pennsylvania was almost exclusively Virginians for several decades. As the following map shows, western PA was part of the Virginia territory until 1780. After that, there continued to be heavy Virginia influence. Eventually, some of the Virginians were driven west to Tennessee and Kentucky when Hamilton sent in soldiers to collect his liquor duty during the Washington administration. After that, the area was a mix of settlers, some from eastern PA, and many foreign settlers, Germans, Dutch, etc. The primary influences on the region came later when the Poles, Irish, Italians, and numerous eastern Europeans came to work in coal mining and heavy industry. Let me get this straight, the area of western PA was formerly part of the VA territory, for the first 100 years of the existence of the country, it was surrounded on two sides by Virginia, since that time it has been surrounded on two sides by WV, and there is zero, not one bit of influence from this history?


            2.) Where did you get the misguided notion that Lincoln was an anti-slavery or abolitionist candidate? The abolitionists hated Lincoln and ran their own candidate against him in 1864. Anti-slavery and pro Republican are not nearly the same thing. Pittsburgh was industrializing quickly at the time, and a lot of the new infrastructure that enabled this was paid for with Southern tariff money. Economically, it made sense for the northern cities to support Lincoln. The hotbed of radical republicanism was in the east, centered around Boston. It’s unlikely that most Pittsburghers at the time gave a damn about slavery, which was how most of the north felt. If you radically opposed slavery, you likely hated Lincoln.

            3.) No part of WV would have voted to secede from Virginia had it not been for the fact that all of the community leaders in the seceding counties were out fighting for the Confederacy. Following the war, the new state of West Virginia routinely elected ex-Confederates to high office, including Henry Matthews as governor. This is the same deceitful claim made about Western NC and Eastern TN. Sure they might have had more Unionists than other parts of the south, but they were still overwhelmingly in support of the Confederacy. It was primarily the dodgers, cowards, and old men who supported the Union, and, in the case of WV, voted to secede while the men of the community were out fighting for the South. Most West Virginians I know consider themselves to be Southerners and if it weren’t for the rather low academic ranking of WVU, they would be part of the SEC. They tried to get into the SEC conference several times…

            Segregation was not in any way unique to the South. The harshest resistance to integration and forced busing actually took place in Boston. Pittsburgh had segregated pools, parks, etc., just like many cities in the north. Where did you get the idea otherwise? By the way, I never said that Pittsburgh was part of the “Deep South.” Where did I imply this? Is Asheville or Harrisonburg part of “Deep South?” How about Louisville, or Lexington? What I said was that Pittsburgh is not in the northeast and is more similar, in many ways to parts of the south and Midwest than it is to the northeast. Pittsburgh is part midwest, part Appalachian, with a tinge of the South, as can be expected based on its history and geographic location.


          • Pittsburgh is considered the largest city in the Appalachian mountains. It’s mountain people; not easterners, not southerners.
            Pittsburgh has nothing in common with Philadelphia. If you look at a map of the last 7 presidential elections, you’ll see that Western PA trends conservative Republican, while the eastern more populous side of the state votes more liberal Democrat.
            When attending concerts in Pittsburgh like the Luke Bryan one this past Saturday, you’s see just as many West Virginia and Ohio license plates in the parking lot as you do Pennsylvania.


        • 1) When southwestern PA was claimed by Virginia, there were basically no settlements there, only Native Americans and military forts. The overwhelming bulk of the settlement of western PA occurred after the Revolution. The vast majority of these settlers were from eastern PA, and according to the following source there were even a significant number of New Englanders coming to western PA:

          “Generous state land sales and the promise of rich soil attracted tens of thousands: Revolutionary war veterans, the impoverished sons and daughters of farm families in New England and central Pennsylvania; immigrants from Northern Ireland and Germany.”

          The claim by Virginia lasted only about 20 years, not 100 years, and was basically unenforceable due to the lack of Virginian settlements there. It was inevitable that they would lose the area to Pennsylvania.

          The veterans who moved there after the Revolution were the ones who launched the Whiskey Rebellion. After their defeat, many of them fled to northern West Virginia and established settlements there.

          2) The central issue in 1860 was slavery, not tariffs. The main distinctions in voting patterns were regional, not urban vs. rural. It is also a misconception to think that the divide was east-west. This may be hard to believe, but the most pro-slavery and pro-Southern part of the North (other than the Southerner-heavy Butternut region) was New York City! Not only did the city (and the surrounding areas such as Northern New Jersey, Long Island, the lower Hudson Valley and much of SW Connecticut) vote strongly against Lincoln, it was also a hotbed of Copperhead sentiment during the war.

          In terms of the larger regions of the country at the time, Lincoln’s strongest performance was in the most anti-slavery section of the country, i.e. the Far North “Yankee” belt, comprising New England, upstate New York, and the Upper Midwest. His two best states were Vermont and Massachusetts, well-known for being the two most abolitionist states in the country.

          Arguing that abolitionists “hated” Lincoln is like arguing that single-payer health care supporters “hate” Obama. They may not have supported him enthusiastically, but they knew that he (along with the Republican Party in general) was the best of the available options.

          3) There might have been segregation by private organizations and HOAs, but government-level segregation in the North was completely banned starting in the years between the Civil War and the start of the 20th Century. I find it remarkable that even interracial marriage, which was almost universally opposed by white Americans until the 1960s, was nonetheless legal in all of the Northeast and Midwest (except Indiana) from the late 1800s!

          4) It is important to note that over the last 50 or so years there has been a rise of identification with Southern culture in places that had previously identified entirely with the North. This has been due both to Southern migrants who moved to Northern cities for factory jobs after World War II, as well as due to the spread of Southern culture through country music, Evangelical religion, and Southern fast food chains. As long as the South is defined by music and food (and perhaps even religion), and not by racism, then many Northerners have no problem identifying with the South.


          • Your reliance on “court history” is unfortunate for a seemingly intelligent person. I can only guess that you rely on it cynically, as it is the only basis for your arguments and the “official history” that one is mis-educated with in public school.

            You are conflating two very different things. Being culturally Southern did not necessarily correlate with supporting the South in the War Between the States and supporting the South in the War Between the States did not necessarily correlate with being culturally Southern. Clement Vallandigham, John Pemberton, Franklin Pierce, Horatio Seymour, etc. supported the South, but they were Yankees through and through. Conversely, there were a number, though small, of Southerners who were Unionists. Are we to believe that the Southern Unionists were culturally Yankees? By your argument, Charles Dickens and Lord Acton, were culturally Southerners.

            The bottom line of this long back and forth is that Western Pennsylvania is not culturally part of the northeast. If you won’t take the word of two natives, then I don’t know what to tell you. As HoptownTiger pointed out above, Pittsburgh is the largest city in the Appalachian mountains. The region (though certainly not the City due to a high minority and hipster do-gooder population) is politically conservative, has the highest rate of NRA membership outside of Texas, and one of the highest percentages of hunters of any area of the country. A few years back, Brian O’Neill, a columnist for the Post Gazette, wrote a book called “The Paris of Appalachia” recognizing Pittsburgh’s place as the cultural center of Appalachia. That is what it is.


          • One more thing to note: Lynyrd Skynyrd has repeatedly noted that one of their largest fan bases is in Pittsburgh. They tour here every year, sometimes more than once. The band is so popular here that Lynyrd Skynyrd released a live album from Pittsburgh titled “Lyve from Steel Town” in 1998. Pittsburgh is similar to Boston?


        • I just want to point out that I did not learn any of these demographic statistics in school. All of it is based on my own research from Census data, genealogical websites, and history books/websites written by experts.


        • Regarding the politics of western PA, it has long been economically liberal but socially conservative. It became Democratic during the New Deal, and remained a Democratic bedrock through the 1980s. In fact, even in the 1984 landslide, southwest PA voted solidly for Mondale.

          As politics has realigned along social and environmental issue lines, western PA has shifted Republican. The importance of coal mining in southwestern PA has made the political transition particularly sharp there, just as in West Virginia.


          • What you are saying is partially true. The region was and is socially very conservative, but it is not and was not economically “liberal.” The region tended to vote Democrat in presidential elections because it had a history as being the most unionized area of the country. The typical local Democrat got a 100% rating from the AFL/CIO, but also a 100% rating from the NRA, National Right to Life, etc. We had a string of local Democrats who went to war with their party over its radical leftism, most notably Governor Casey. Pittsburgh is also almost universally Catholic. Its not accurate to say that the local population was or is economically “liberal.” This isn’t Vermont or San Francisco. If you polled the local Democrats about gay marriage, or welfare, you’d likely get 75% or more against. The only reason that they voted Democrat in national elections was the high union membership. That’s it.


          • The very reason why union members are Democrat is because of economic issues. The Democratic members of Congress from Western Pennsylvania have consistently voted on the left on economic issues, including programs for the needy, labor regulations, and taxes, since the days of the New Deal.

            Southwestern Pennsylvania actually went above and beyond other union-dominated areas by voting against Reagan both times.

            Some of the most activist left-wing labor union leaders have come from western Pennsylvania and neighboring northern West Virginia, such as the legendary Walter Reuther as well as current AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka.


      • Have you ever heard the term Pennsyltucky? I’m no expert on Pittsburgh as I’ve only been there a couple of times. However, I know it’s much, much closer to the West Virginia panhandle and Ohio (about 40 miles) than Philly (about 300 miles). Similarly, I went to school in Western New York State and it is much more like the Midwest than the NYC area.


        • Of course I’ve heard of Pennsyltucky. As you mentioned, it basically serves as a transition zone between the Northeast and the Midwest. Though there might be slight Appalachian influence in places, there is no resemblance with the Deep South.


          • Its amazing how much you know about every area of the country.


  • I bet the city misses the good old Grateful Dead shows by now. At least those hippies mostly cleaned up after themselves. :)


  • I think it’s more of a Pittsberg problem as well. I went to see Eric Church and he had Brantley Gilbert opening for him in NC, which was Church’s home town and I saw a lot of people tailgating way past whatever the opening act was and into BG. EC built the crowd up so much that you could feel that there was enough energy in them for at least another two hours of EC’s pop country/rock. But I didn’t see anyone leave trash or any fights (though I sure there could easily have been fights with the energy in that crowd. We all now Eric wouldn’t mind if they fought).


  • And to think we get to do this all over again next month when Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, and FGL play PNC park. PNC park is considerably smaller than Heinz Field, but I’m not sure how many people they are going to squeeze into the infield. My guess is it will be around 35k attending, but thousands tailgating in parking lots, bridges and boats. It will give the media and residents of the north side something to bitch about for a week.


  • How does Luke Bryan or Brantley Gilbert react to this? More importantly, why wouldn’t they?


  • http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2014/06/23/luke-bryan-concert-messy-people-or-media-hype/

    Dont believe everything you hear. The local Pittsburgh Media intentionally hyped up this story. What was left behind was nothing short of what would be found at a Steelers game.


    • Whatever. That affiliate is just pissed they didn’t position a camera crew on location like the other stations in town. They said they didn’t see any trash buckets, but failed to mention that the city was handing out two trash bags for every vehicle entering the parking lot. And yes, it was just one lot, the lot they allowed tailgating in. That card was played last year as well. Excuses, excuses. Read and see quotes of people who were there in the above article. And the mayor. What happened was out-of-hand.


      • Funny all Pittsburgh news carried the story but you say it was written by an agency that missed the shot. I was actually was there, bags were handed out to the Gold and Red lots only. Tailgating was present in all lots and garages except for the Rivers Casino garage. I personally was in the Carnegie Science lot across from Green 21 lot that the infamous photo was taken and our lot was not “trashed” and I actually have photos of Green 21 from the ramps at Heinz Field that shows only the small corner section near the T station that was a mess and that was photographed by the news. As far as the mayor goes, he wasn’t even in the at the time, in fact he wasn’t even in the country he was Denmark. Since the posting of this article all Pittsburgh News agencies have stopped running the story pretty much effective the day it came out.


  • Thankfully, there does seem to be media backlash to the reports this year.
    A commentary in the post-gazette today looked at how easy it is to ‘trash’ rural americans (hicks, hillbillies, rednecks).


  • Whites have white trash rednecks.

    Black have nI**ers.

    Each culture has it’s bottom feeders


  • I live in Pittsburgh, and I went to this concert and I can honestly say that the trash left behind was not as bad as they’re making it seem. No, I’m not just saying this to defend where I live. Honestly, the media is bending the truth about most things that went on. Being there, I can say that I never saw one fight, one arrest, and no calls to 911. It may have just been because of where I was at the time, but the emergency calls that were made were probably by 15 year old girls who’s mothers let them go by themselves & they got lost in all the madness. I don’t think it was right of you to write this long review about what went on, without actually being there and experiencing it.


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