It's somehow ironic. America loves a good country song about having the tailgate down, the radio up and the beers in the cooler, but no one seems to have a song about what happens next. Namely, cleaning up after the fans who had their tailgates down, theirs radios up and their beers emptied.
Maybe it's not surprising that when you invite 50,000 people to a single event in your city, there will be a lot of clean-up involved. The messy aftermath is the inevitable, necessary evil of doing business.
When Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley, Lee Brice and Cole Swindell played Saturday (June 21) in Pittsburgh, they set an all-time record for tickets at Heinz Field, and the city's mayor now wants concert promoter Live Nation to chip in for the incremental cleanup and public safety costs.
"We've worked too hard to build the quality of life in Pittsburgh to let others get away with destroying it," Mayor Bill Peduto said in a written statement. "My administration will investigate further ways to hold promoters more accountable for these costs and impacts while recognizing the economic benefits such large events bring to our publicly owned facilities."
(I personally feel like it's up to Heinz Field -- not the city of Pittsburgh or Live Nation -- to provide adequate trash cans and timely emptying of said trash cans. Judging by the photos posted by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review newspaper, the overflowing trash cans make it obvious that fans were at least trying to clean up after themselves.)
According to the newspaper, the city has to pay an additional $2,000 to have the trash removed and the public areas cleaned.
In addition to the staggering amount of trash the concert created, it sounds like Pittsburgh was surprised that so many incidents had to be handled. Those included 100 medical calls, 34 people taken to hospitals, 15 fights, 10 citations for public urination and six citations for disorderly conduct. In another irony, there was apparently only one citation for public intoxication.