Rock the South safety, traffic updates from law enforcement: Festival returning Aug. 5-6

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Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry, left, and Cullman Police Chief Kenny Culpepper, right, are seen at Friday morning’s press conference. (Amy Leonard for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry, Cullman Police Chief Kenny Culpepper and Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) Chief of Highway Patrol Michael McBrayer gave an update on next weekend’s Rock the South (RTS) music festival at a press conference on Friday morning.  

Gentry noted that, with more than 30,000 attendees expected at RTS each day, his goal is to do “everything humanly possible to keep everyone safe” and that the event is an “all hands on deck” weekend for the various agencies. 

The Cullman County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) will be in charge of the flow of traffic into and out of the event, while the Cullman Police Department (CPD), ALEA and partners will be more than 100 members strong inside RTS. The inside officers will be tasked with assisting RTS security staff. 

Culpepper urged concertgoers to be mindful of the heat and to take advantage of the venue’s Misting Forest to help cool down. He also reminded the public that all officials inside the venue – the fire department, emergency management services and police officers – are there to protect and serve and should be utilized for any safety or health concerns. 

ALEA will provide support both inside and outside the event. State Troopers will be stationed at Interstate 65 Exit 305 (County Road 222) and Exit 308 (U.S. Highway 278) in an attempt to keep traffic along the interstate flowing as smoothly as possible during the weekend. 

In hopes of allowing a clear throughfare for emergency services during the event, traffic will have restricted access on County Roads 469 and 436 from Friday, Aug. 5 at 8 a.m. until Sunday, Aug. 7 at 2 a.m. Restrictions will not affect residents of homes along those roads. 

Parking for the festival begins at noon Friday and Saturday and the gates will open at 2 p.m. each day. General parking passes are $50 for the weekend. Gentry recommended everyone “just do your homework before you get there” when it comes to parking plans. 

CCSO

Official RTS parking will be available on County Road 469 which will be accessible by turning south on County Road 473 from U.S. Highway 278 West. The second official parking lot will be on County Road 436. This lot can be accessed from U.S. Highway 278 West by turning south on County Road 463 and then east on County Road 436. From the south, the lot is available from County Road 222 by turning north on County Road 421 then east on County Road 436. 

Private parking appears to be available on County Road 469, near the intersection of County Road 436 and Logan Avenue Southwest, and on Leonard Road south of Logan Avenue Southwest. Those spots are made available by private individuals and the cost will be determined by each lot. 

The festival’s sole entrance will be on the north side of the perimeter where attendees will pass through a metal detector and be subject to search.  

The following items will NOT be allowed inside the gate: 

  • Weapons, including guns and knives 
  • Outside food and drinks 
  • Video or audio recording devices 
  • Fireworks and explosives 
  • Flags 
  • Umbrellas 
  • Professional cameras 
  • Chains or chain wallets 
  • Laser pointers 
  • Pets 
  • Tents 

The following items are allowed in the gates: 

  • Chairs in general admission area 
  • Blankets 
  • Towels 
  • Hats 
  • Medication in approved containers 
  • Small and medium backpacks 

Rock the South takes place at 1872 County Road 469 in Cullman. Find out more at www.RocktheSouth.com.  

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