PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio1020 KDKA) – Country superstar Luke Bryan brought thousands to the North Shore and Heinz Field Saturday for his “That’s My Kinda Night” tour. Many are speaking out about the trash left behind after the concert, some feel like the focus of the story here is all wrong they should be focused on the concert itself.
Bill Rehkopf and the KDKA Afternoon News decided to bring all of the sides of the story to the show today. It started when Mayor Peduto’s office released a statement saying that a new plan needs to be in place for big events, such as Luke Bryan. They claim there needs to be a better way to curb the trash, misconduct and intoxication related incidents.
Mayor Peduto’s Chief of Staff Kevin Acklin joined Bill on the KDKA Afternoon News he says we pride ourselves on our cultural center of our city and the stadiums were built for these kinds of events but it comes with challenges.
“We are a city on fiscal in fiscal difficulty right now and when these events come to town we expect that they won’t trash our city. What we had is a situation where we had a significant public safety response, over 300 incidents that occurred Saturday, that’s diverting resources away from our neighborhoods,” Acklin said.
He said they are currently figuring out the exact cost of this weekend to the city but he estimates it somewhere in the tens of thousands of dollars. There is another country concert coming up in July downtown and the city wants to avoid another incident like this weekend.
“We are focused on making sure that we do a more appropriate job on the front end, we have another concert coming to town in July so we are looking at ways to make sure that our response and the activity that goes on there is nothing like it was over the weekend,” Acklin said.
You can hear the whole interview with Kevin Acklin below:
Peduto’s idea to make concert promoters responsible if trash is left behind left a few people upset, including event promoter Brian Drusky who took to Facebook to respond to the statement.
Drusky claims that they need a better plan in place and would be more than willing to help out but his services come at a price. He came on the KDKA Afternoon News with Bill Rehkopf and brought his unique view point to the subject. Drusky claims that we may be pointing the fingers at the wrong people.
“I think you are creating a party atmosphere down there, you are opening the parking lots at what 10 am I think they are open for a 7 p.m. concert, I mean you are pretty much telling people hey come on down and have a party,” Drusky said.
Drusky told Bill that there really is no benefit to opening up the parking lots that early and that it pretty much just sends the message that it will be a big party. Spending year putting on large events he says we can’t just blame the “rowdy country” crowd.
“There’s large events, things like Bonnaroo, and people saying that country music fans are to blame because they are rowdy but you know they have country festivals in Nashville and other places all around. Its just the planning, I mean you plan to monitor it, police it, and service it and you’re not going to have these problems,” Drusky said.
He brings up the point that First Niagara hosts concerts all summer long and doesn’t run into these problems because they have a plan that is put in place from police to people picking up the garbage.
You can listen to the interview with Brian Drusky below:
Regardless of mess, Stoney Richards from Y108 stopped by with Bill to give us all the rundown of the show and what really matters to the fans.
“It was a great show by some of the greatest artists in country music, a former entertainer of the year, and probably up again, a guy who everyone knows in their living room, Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley, all of these guys by the way we have been with since the beginning of their careers, Lee Brice, Cole Swindell, it was great great show,” Stoney said.
He conducted an interview with Luke Bryan for KDKA-TV and says Bryan could not have been more accommodating, along with this interview Stoney was able to be on both sides of this story but doesn’t necessarily agree with the coverage it received.
“I know the story was find the trash, find the drunks and you can find the trash and you can find the drunks. I can find them at church on Sunday if you want, you know but I always thought journalism was you know you have an idea of the story and then you let the story come to you and then you fashion it as opposed to ah ha, so it’s country music there’s going to be parking lot parties and drunks and all that stuff, that’s pretty easy,” Stoney said.
Stoney feels that people just want to cast their personal views on things and not look at the facts, like how successful the show was or how much money was brought in for the city. People should be focusing their attention on the positives such as a record breaking turn out for a concert.
You can listen to the whole interview with Stoney Richards here below:
You can also listen to the KDKA Afternoon News with Bill Rehkopf weekdays from 3-7 p.m.