Rock the South: Law enforcement, EMS update 

RTS sees record crowds

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Country music superstar group Alabama was the headlining act Friday night, Aug. 5,  2022, at Rock the South. (Martha Needham for The Cullman Tribune) 

CULLMAN, Ala. –  The first day of Rock the South saw more than 60,000 attendees from all over the country, six musical acts, some heat-related medical incidents and a handful of arrests.  

Cullman Assistant Police Chief David Nassetta said, unofficially, that emergency medical personnel were extremely busy Friday. 

“I don’t have the official information on the medical side,” Nassetta said. “They had doctors onsite who could medically clear patients after providing fluids and IVs, so not many had to be transported.”

Nassetta said by the end of the night, he was told, more than 200 people had been treated for heat-related illnesses.  

“Keep in mind that heat-related illnesses range from people feeling dizzy to things like heat exhaustion,” he said. 

Seven arrests were reported, he said. “The arrests were, again, mostly public intoxication and possession of marijuana or controlled substances.”

 Friday night saw at least one serious medical call for an overdose. The patient was airlifted from the venue. Nassetta said because of HIPAA privacy laws, there likely won’t be further information released. 

Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry said one of the major concerns Friday was the number of pedestrians on the roadways attendees are traveling to get into the venue. 

“Drivers need to be extra cautious of people walking to the event venue,” Gentry said. “Safety is our number one priority, so please remain diligent and aware of your surroundings while traveling to and from the venue.” 

Sen. Garlan Gudger, R-Cullman, said the festival’s first day had a record number in attendance.

“With (the group) Alabama coming, the crowd seems as large as it did with (former President Donald Trump,” he said. “I’m excited to see the final numbers for attendance this weekend.” (Trump held a rally at the same venue in August 2021. The Alabama Republican Party at the time said 50,000 were in attendance.)

Country superstar group Alabama, which has been delighting fans for five decades, was the headlining act Friday night. The festival continues Saturday and will wrap up in the evening with a performance by Morgan Wallen. 

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