Sheriff says band’s no police request at Country Thunder may have been a misunderstanding

The request of country act Florida-Georgia Line to have no law enforcement back stage during their concert at the Country Thunder festival Friday in Randall may have been a misunderstanding, Sheriff David Beth told reporters Tuesday.

“Maybe it was just a huge misunderstanding,” Beth said. “I want to believe that.”

However, as the same situation appears to have happened the next night in Iowa as well, Beth said at the least the band has to figure out who is delivering the no police message and correct the message if they really are not trying to ban law enforcement from their back stage area during concerts.

Beth said he became aware of the request from the band for no law enforcement in the backstage area while they played their show on Friday afternoon. Beth said he and his captain at the festival agreed they would not honor the request but deputies would go about their usual duties, including in the backstage area when necessary.

“We thought it was an interesting request,” Beth said. “We had never had that request before … ”

Beth said deputies still performed their normal duties.

“We didn’t go out of our way to put people back there, but our deputies still walked around and did stuff,” Beth said. “There were no issues.”

After the show, it’s customary for the sheriff’s department — which staffs the festival with about 100 deputies — to escort acts off the grounds to the road. The sheriff’s department did not escort Florida-Georgia Line off grounds, but not because of an intended slight. Instead the request was not relayed to the department by the festival, Beth said.

Beth made his comments at a casual question and answer session Tuesday afternoon.  While reporters were gathering, Beth talked on the phone with Brian Kelley, one of the members of the group.

Beth said Kelley expressed support for law enforcement and claimed the group had no problem with the presence of law enforcement back stage.

The situation with Florida-Georgia Line at Country Thunder and then with a similar situation at a concert in Iowa the next night has drawn a lot of negative reaction on social media, perhaps due to current tension between supporters of police and those who feel some police officers are overstepping their authority too often.

Beth said his department may do a little more looking into the situation to figure out who said what to whom, but he is satisfied for now with Kelley’s comments.

“It makes me feel good that they reached out,” Beth said. “But I think it’s something they need to deal with.”

Here is video of most of the two question and answer sessions Beth held this afternoon in Brighton:


One Comment

  1. Matt says:

    They keep this up, they’re little career is over!

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