The infamous Country Music Festival rolled into town this past Friday and Saturday for a two day stint at Foxboro's Gillette Stadium. The show's annual stop draws thousands of country music fans every August and has gained a reputation for inciting tailgating, heavy drinking and the rowdy behavior that ensues as a result of partying in the parking lot for four or five hours.
Past years have proved tough on police, as more that six hundred people were arrested at last years festival for drunken and unruly behavior and a 20 year old girl from Milton was killed back in 2008 when the car she was riding in veered off or Route 1 and crashed. The cause of the crash was alcohol related and according to police and the girls' family, she and her friends has been drinking all day in the parking lot at Country Fest, even though they did not have tickets to the event. This quite obviously led to concerns of safety for the popular tour and that it encouraged drinking and underage partying.
Taking this as a learning experience, Foxboro police have made big steps to tighten security and have also tightened restrictions to parking lot access before the show. Efforts made by the police and by the stadium have proven effective since there were only around one hundred arrests reported and no serious injuries, something that police chief Edward O'Leary told CBS was "encouraging".
As far as the show itself, it brought veteran headliner Kenney Chesney back to the Bay State with his No Shoes Nation Tour along with guests Eric Church, Eli Young Band and Kasey Musgraves among others. The weather was beautiful and fans had a great time. One concertgoer remarked "I definitely need to come back next year!"