Every year, Kenny Chesney’s annual concert on Pittsburgh’s North Shore at the Heinz Field has become the biggest country music embarrassment of the year. 2013 was the first year the mounds of trash, multiple arrests and hospitalizations, and major fights made national headlines. Despite the disappointment the 2013 installment caused for the city and the concert promoters, a very similar scenario played out in 2014.
2015 was reportedly a little bit more docile, with dedicated efforts by organizers to try and keep litter down and drunk and disorderly conduct to a minimum, but 2016 appears to have been a return to the event’s glory days, at least from the pictures and video pouring out from Saturday night’s (7-2) event.
According to local officials, there were a total of 99 people who needed emergency medical transports, and 37 people were taken to hospitals, mainly for intoxication and intoxication injuries. There were also multiple arrests, including five people inside the concert, and 36 individuals were cited for underage drinking.
But once again, the biggest story was the mounds of trash left in the wake of the concert where tailgaters spent hours before the show partying. Though recent years had seen an improvement in trash pickup through organized efforts, 2016 appears to have regressed in that department significantly.
“As the concert let out around 10:30 p.m. and cars began to clear from the parking lots, a reeking, hulking mass of garbage leftover from the day’s earlier festivities began to appear behind the exodus of country music fans,” says Andrew Goldstein of the Post-Gazette. “Pickup trucks crunched glass bottles underneath tires; fluid from portable toilets overflowed into the street; people covered their noses with their shirts to escape the stench.”
Though all signs point to a pretty embarrassing situation surrounding the concert, city officials are attempting to pain a rosy picture. Taking Winston Churchill’s view of, “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it,” Guy Costa, chief operations officer for Pittsburgh, said in a press conference Sunday morning (7-3), ““There was superb inter-agency cooperation. Everyone worked very well together. We’re very pleased.”
Pictures of the scene tell an even more grim picture, but just like 2014 when a GIF of a drunk man falling down seemed to encapsulate the debauchery that ensues at Kenny Chesney’s Pittsburgh shindig, this year it’s the video of a drunken female talking on the phone, bent backwards like a character from an M.C. Escher painting while walking backwards before eventually falling down.
Stay classy Chesney Fans!