While many are looking forward to the smooth return of large-scale music festivals, one Kentucky event is perhaps an example of a worst case scenario. Redneck Rave, an event described “America’s wildest and craziest country party,” drew thousands of excited festivalgoers in an Edmonson County town so small that it doesn’t even have a stoplight. Chaos ensued during the event, resulting in reports of strangulation, throat slitting, broken bones, mass drug possession arrests, and more.
According to a report from the Kentucky news outlet Lexington Herald-Leader (via CoS), organizers made good on their promise that the Redneck Rave would include “mud, music, and mayhem.” The Edmonson County sheriff’s office oversaw safety measures at the event, but weren’t able to stop attendees who allegedly “committed assaults, severed fingers, got impaled and became so intoxicated they were ill.”
Sheriff Shane Doyle described how the police department didn’t have enough personnel to stop illegal activity, so their goal was to instead contain it. “They were going to do what they were going to do,” Doyle said. “We wanted to be good hosts … but we also wanted them to be good neighbors and visitors.”
But police knew they were in over their heads when the first Redneck Rave concertgoer arrived. “The first vehicle that came through, we found meth, marijuana, and an open alcohol container,” Doyle said. “And then one of the occupants had two active warrants. We were like ‘well, this doesn’t bode well for the weekend.’”
By the end of the weekend, 48 people were hit with charges spanning from drug possession to assault and strangulation. Doyle also noted that one attendee had their throat slit by another. “They were intoxicated, they got into a fight, one of them slit the other one’s throat and then fled into the park,” Doyle said.
Yet another person was the victim of a horrendous accidental injury. Apparently, they were riding in an ATV-style vehicle when they drove over a log that went through the floorboard and impaled them in the abdomen. “When it tried to come out through his back it was stopped by a steel plate behind his seat,” Doyle said. Paramedics were quick to the scene but eventually decided it was safer to leave the log in the victim than try to remove it before they were flown to the hospital. Thankfully, Doyle said they weren’t aware of any deaths that took place this year.