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Concert weekend sees no major incidents

At least one weekend a year, the population of Somerset swells to roughly 20 times its normal amount of 2,300.

According to Larry Barr, producer at the Float-Rite concert site, there were about 40,000-45,000 people attending Country Splash over the weekend of June 17-19.

"It's been pretty equal to what we had last year," Barr said. "The numbers mainly fluctuated in what artists performed."

Although there were several police reports for the weekend, Somerset Police Chief Doug Briggs said that the weekend went smoothly.

"It was pretty quiet; a lot of the calls had to do more with the campground," Briggs said. "But they have zero tolerance and didn't hesitate to expel people who caused problems so that helped a lot."

For the concert weekend, there were six extra officers walking the beat at the concert, one in a squad car and one supervisor. The cost for staffing those eight officers will be paid for by the concert.

There were two additional officers at the Float-Rite campground as well, at their request. They also asked for two officers to patrol the river.

An additional officer worked on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, which Briggs said was possible via the Highway Safety grant.

"Between the campground, concert site and grant, the Village of Somerset will not have to spend one extra penny," Briggs said.

Somerset Fire/Rescue worked the concert this year, staffing an average of 12 people at the site along with a medical truck.

"The concert went well, just a few calls," Somerset Fire/Rescue Chief Travis Belisle said. "We didn't have any 'regular' hours per se, just an overnight crew due to the increase in campers at the campgrounds."

This year, Somerset Fire/Rescue worked the concert in exchange for an agreed-upon $5,000 donation to the department.

As for how successful the concert was this year, Barr said there were some aspects that went better than others.

"Country Kidsville went really well," Barr said, referring to the new feature for kids 12 years old and younger. "The Preferred Camping also was a hit - we'll keep that next year."

He said that the new Boom Boom Room, a club room with a deejay, "did not reach expectations" and probably will not be included next year.

"Next year, we will have a new artist walkout from the stage to about 100 feet into the crowd," Barr concluded. "That will add value to the show."