Country Thunder sees record attendance of 30,000

Apr 9, 2018, 6:00 PM
(Facebook Photo)...
(Facebook Photo)
(Facebook Photo)

A record 30,000 people attended Country Thunder last weekend, according to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.

With great attendance comes a great police force, which provided 24-hour law enforcement. Police said they responded to 227 calls within the concert and campground area.

None were major incidents. Navideh Forghani, a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office, called them “routine calls for service that you would experience anywhere within the county.”

The Sheriff’s Office said 16 people were arrested this year. Charges included narcotics possession, assault, criminal damage, resisting arrest and a hit and run.

Forghani said there were only nine or 10 arrests last year, albeit with a smaller attendance. Because of the larger 2018 turnout, she called the arrest numbers “comparable.”

“We consider the type of security we had and the operational plan that we had in place pretty effective for making sure Country Thunder stayed safe and people had fun,” she said.

Additionally, the Sheriff’s Office conducted DUI patrols.

Out of 481 traffic stops, only were 13 DUI-related calls. There were two others for driving under the influence of drugs.

Police found more than 2,000 designated drivers.

“We’re really happy with the results from that,” Forghani said. “That is such good news that people are taking the time to be responsible and they understand the consequences.”

The Sheriff’s Office ran several public-service campaigns working with the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Against Abuse.

Ads focused on educating attendees on topics including drugs, alcohol and sexual assault.

The program began two weeks prior to Country Thunder, and visuals were displayed on the jumbotron between performances.

“We’re very thankful for the help we got in putting together this public service announcement,” Forghani said. “We think it was pretty effective.”

KTAR News’ Taylor Kinnerup contributed to this report.

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Country Thunder sees record attendance of 30,000