COUNTRY DRUNKEN THUNDER
Let’s not overlook drug usage, please.
That Kenosha uses special giant rolling magnets to run over the fields where Country Thunder takes place every year. The purpose of the magnets is to pick up all the needles left in the dirt, dust, and grass following the weekend events. Walking on the grounds after Country Thunder is risky, before the magnets do their job. There was a hit and run in the early hours of Saturday morning at the event, although two a.m. is not necessarily considered “early” by many attendees. Two people were hurt, with one near death. Since it was a hit and run in such a murky muddy and noise polluted place, no driver or vehicle has been caught or interdicted. This absolutely craven and miserable event, called Country Thunder, abhorred by so many, is not loathed by everyone.
A writer wrote in to describe what was going on out there and you cannot help but note the tone of innocent enthusiasm this young woman has for the event: “Country Thunder couldn’t get here fast enough for country music fans in and around Kenosha County this past weekend. Country Thunder has been an annual event for the past 23 years attracting country music fans of all ages. Along with the thunder came rain, that did nothing to stop the music, and only added another element of muddy fun and wet T-shirts to this year’s event. Many visitors, and most locals from Twin Lakes, look forward to and enjoy watching how the music has brought the different generations together. Yet, not surprisingly a few locals have expressed concern. Although they enjoy the music, they do not enjoy the crowds of people, the extracurricular activities, and the safety issues that have become more prevalent over the years, and feel it should be monitored more closely. “Y’all need to chill” says one young country fan. We think she may have been under the influence, but we’re not telling. Anyway, the lineup of bands, and the energy were awesome. It was an exciting and wonderful experience for the audience, and we were hard pressed to find anyone who attended that didn’t have a good time. “Y’all just need to chill” and realize if you’re going to host a big event people will come and cleanup will have to follow.”
Woodstock occurred more than a single generation ago in Bethel, New York. It was by no means accepted as a quiet, peaceful, or even acceptable event by most of the citizens living in and around the small town of Bethel. Country Thunder is primarily a music festival. It is intended to bring together young people of all kinds to enjoy country music and do those other things (like drinking and taking drugs) that seem like unavoidable pursuits to more aged members of the community. The fact that so many of the muddy and drunk participants leave the Country Thunder grounds (located down near Twin Lakes at the very southwestern corner of Kenosha County) and come to circulate in and around the local communities ringing Geneva Lake can have mixed benefits. The raucous, loud and sometimes downright ill-mannered behavior is brought into the local communities. Country Thunder guests can be unwelcome, and also challenge the patience, as well as the manpower, of local law enforcement. The arguments in favor of, and opposed to, events that are as seemingly out of control as Country Thunder, are as diametrically opposed and vehement as arguments in favor of, and opposed to, the ingestion of alcohol. And those two things may be very closely linked together.