Share This Page

Bryan concert draws mellower crowd than Chesney shows, observers say

| Saturday, June 21, 2014, 12:21 p.m.

Even on the longest day of the year, Andrea Savage — clad in boots and a cowboy hat, and perched on the flatbed of a Chevy pickup — wished she had a few more hours to tailgate with her friends.

“This is my favorite day of the year,” said Savage, 22, of Peters, who attended the Luke Bryan country music concert on Saturday evening at Heinz Field with seven of her closest friends. “We got our beer last night and got here at 11 a.m. so we'd have all day. I only wish this day was longer.”

Fans in denim shorts, tank tops, flannel shirts and cowboy hats began to fill North Shore parking lots early Saturday under cloudy skies and mild temperatures for a summer concert at Heinz Field by rising star Bryan.

Despite a show expected to draw an estimated 50,000 people, the pre-concert revelry was more subdued, people said, than last year's Kenny Chesney summer concert, during which fans left behind 45,000 to 60,000 pounds of garbage in North Shore streets and parking lots. Last year, Pittsburgh police arrested or cited 73 people, and paramedics treated 150 in and around Heinz Field.

This year, concertgoers got trash and recycling bags and appeared to be using them. Police had a heavy presence before and during the concert, which began at 6 p.m. Officials reported one arrest, a couple of fights and a few injuries.

“People are still drinking and having a good time, but it doesn't seem as crazy as previous years,” said Mike Radcliffe, 41, of Morgantown, W.Va. “That being said, there will always be people who drink too much.”

Pittsburgh Public Safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler said final tallies of arrests and citations would not be available until late Saturday.

“It's definitely cleaner than it was last year. People aren't just throwing their trash on the streets. They're using the bins and bags,” said Ryan Callahan, 25, of Delmont, Westmoreland County.

Erik Carlberg of Mt. Washington was selling cowboy hats at the corner of Reedsdale Street and Tony Dorsett Drive. Prepaid parking passes that fans purchased with their concert tickets helped control the rowdiness, Carlberg said.

“It's a little bit less rowdy, but definitely in full spirit,” he said. “Compared to previous years, the crowd is younger and business is slower.”

Officials lined the sidewalks with 120 portable toilets, up from 80 last year. Concert-goers complained this still was not enough. Lines extended several people deep, and people were seen using the woods behind the D.L. Clark Building.

“This has all the excitement and fanfare of a Steelers playoff game, but there's nothing on the line, no final score to worry about,” said Michelle Pavlik, 38, of Morgantown. “It's really just a lot of rednecks listening to music and having a good time.”

Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or abrandolph@tribweb.com.

Related Content
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.