The summer concert season in country music has only just begun, and already were beginning to see concerning stories about how this year could be just as bad or worse than last year for concert behavior.
On Saturday June 7th, Brad Paisley rolled his “Crushin’ It World Tour” into the Sleep Train Amphitheater in the San Diego suburb of Chula Vista. California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control offers and Chula Vista police swept the parking lot as tailgaters and concertgoers gathered before the show, arresting 85 people between the ages of 17 and 20 for minor in possession of alcohol. Four adults were also arrested for giving alcohol to minors, and two additional minors were arrested for having false I.D’s.
All the suspects arrested were released with a misdemeanor citation pending court dates. Minor in possession of alcohol holds a minimum of a $250 fine and 24 hours of community service, and supplying alcohol to minors has a minimum fine of $1,000 and 24 hours of community service. Most of the arrests were made in the Sleep Train Amphitheater parking lot before the concert began.
Mickey Guyton opened the show with a 20-minute set despite saying that she was very sick, and came out later to sing a duet with Paisley on “Whiskey Lullaby.” Justin Moore also played a 45-minute set before Paisley took the stage.
The 91 arrests beg the question if we are truly seeing worse behavior than previous years at country concerts, or if it is a symptom of better reporting, and more aggressive enforcement at concerts, especially concerning underage drinking. Regardless, we’re likely to see similar numbers from other country music concerts as the summer progresses.