A massive country music festival in Kentucky this past weekend started off on rocky footing: Police found meth, marijuana, and an open bottle of alcohol in the first vehicle they stopped at a traffic checkpoint. One of the people in the car had two active warrants out for their arrest.
“We were like, ‘Well, this doesn’t bode well for the weekend,’” Edmonson County Sheriff Shane Doyle told the Lexington Herald-Leader.
By the end of the five-day bash, dubbed the “Redneck Rave,” one man had been impaled, one woman had been strangled to the point of unconsciousness, and one throat had been slit. In all, Edmonson authorities arrested 14 people, and charged four dozen people from five states.
The event, organized by country rapper Justin Time, took place in Blue Holler Offroad Park and drew a crowd of tens of thousands, doubling the population of the unincorporated town of Ollie, which is so small it does not have a stoplight. Redneck Rave promoters bragged that they had sold more than 20,000 tickets. The lengthy getdown, advertised as the “biggest country party you’ll ever go to,” boasted a demolition derby, goldfish racing, and a full-scale football game as well as a series of concerts.
The details of the Redneck Rave’s incidents are grisly. One person slit a friend’s throat and remains at large, a 29-year-old man had allegedly strangled a woman until she passed out, one person lost the better part of a finger, and another was impaled when he drove a side-by-side over a 2-3 inch log that broke through the bottom of the recreational vehicle. Paramedics left the log inside him as they airlifted him to a hospital.
Justin Time, whose legal name is Justin Stowers, wrote on Facebook, “This was the biggest event we’ve ever done and with as many people and random things that popped up unexpectedly I feel like we all handled it very well.”
Doyle told the Herald-Leader last year’s Redneck Raves—there were two—“overwhelmed” his staff. He ordered all his deputies to work mandatory overtime this year and requested assistance from the Kentucky State Police. At least one person died at the event last year. Another Redneck Rave is scheduled for October of this year.
“There were so many intoxicated people, we just decided, ‘If dispatch sends an ambulance in, we’re sending a deputy in with them,’” said Doyle.
Six of the festival-goers face felony charges, and the sheriff’s office filed roughly 30 charges stemming from drug and alcohol violations.