Concert-Goers Beat the Heat at Blame My Roots

Photo by Scott McCloskey As many people were looking for ways to beat the heat Saturday during the Blame My Roots country music festival at Valley View Campgrounds near Morristown, Kyle John of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, had fun cooling off on a hillside “slip n’ slide.”

MORRISTOWN — Whether it was sliding down a hillside “slip n’ slide” or sitting in a small pool of water, thousands of concert-goers did their best to find ways to beat the heat Saturday during the third and final day of the Blame My Roots country music festival, held at Valley View Campgrounds near Morristown.

With temperatures climbing into the mid-90s and high humidity levels, attendees looked for many ways to stay cool and hydrated.

“The safety of our guests is our No. 1 concern,” according to a statement released by festival officials.

Organizers said they were diligent in their efforts to protect the patrons and worked around the clock to offset the forecasted temperatures.

An abundance of medical personnel, including members of local EMS and fire departments, were on site to assist concert-goers who were in need of any medical attention. Festival officials also encouraged guests to pack their coolers full of water in addition to wearing hats and sunscreen.

Event organizer Chris Dutton said he believed the crowd was dealing with the heat very well Saturday, noting that the venue had multiple water cool-off stations installed near the concert area.

In addition, Panhandle Cleaning and Restoration provided a truckload of water for complimentary distribution to anyone in need of a bottle of water. Many people were spotted sitting in small wading pools filled with water around the campgrounds.

“Obviously that (the heat) was a big concern coming into it, so we had some extra misting coolers (cool-off zones) … and Panhandle Cleaning and Restoration brought some free water in, so we’re managing really well,” Dutton said. “I stopped by the (medical) tent, and they said there were no major issues.”

Cyndy Butera, an emergency room nurse manager at Ohio Valley Medical Center who was working the medical tent, echoed Dutton’s comments, saying the personnel had only treated several minor heat-related or heat exhaustion issues as of early Saturday afternoon.

“People are hydrating well, it seems like,” Butera said, noting free water also was available at the tent.

Kyle John of Bethlehem, Pa., said he and a group of friends from the Pittsburgh area started a “slip n’ slid” on the Valley View Campgrounds about 10 years ago during Jamboree In The Hills week, and it has turned into a fun way to beat the heat ever since. He said the slide typically attracts near 150 festival-goers.

“We started this 10 years ago during Jamboree In The Hills. … We love coming here. The campground is half the party, really,” John said. “It started out as just a couple tarps together … and every year it just grows and grows and more people come here to have a good time. It’s another way to cool off and have fun. … This whole place is just about good people having a good time together, and that’s why we love coming here. We’ve always camped here. You know, we’ve always gone to the Jamboree In The Hills. … We were so happy to see that they kept it going.”

While sitting under a shade tree just outside the concert area, Uniontown residents Mike Egri and Lori Castello said they were excited to see what this year’s event was about.

“We just came under this shade tree and we love listening to the music, so we figured we would just stay right here,” said Egri, who has attended Jamboree In The Hills in years past. He said they prepared well for the heat by bringing a cooler full of water.

Dutton said Blame My Roots organizers are hopeful about making plans for another festival next year, in the event that Jamboree In The Hills does not return. Live Nation, the company that operates JITH, has said the event is on “hiatus” this year and its website is no longer active. Thousands of attendees turned out over the past few days at the Valley View Campgrounds, located just across U.S. 40 from the former Jamboree site. Dutton said he is extremely pleased with the turnout for the inaugural event.

“Trace Adkins was telling us … “I can’t believe this is your first year,'” Dutton said, noting Adkins said it was running extremely smoothly.

Dutton said it has been good to hear positive comments from all the professionals that participated in the event.

“We’re doing stuff to plan for next year. … We already contacted a booking agency for an event for next year,” Dutton said. “So this year we have invested a lot in video and professional photographers … and drones and all that sort of stuff to capture all the campers and just the festival atmosphere that we have. We have invested a lot of this stuff to help with the marketing for next year. If Jamboree is not here, we’re very, very hopeful we’re going to do it again.”

Saturday’s lineup of performers included: Sydney Mack, Tyler Farr, Lindsay Ell, Gabby Barrett, Ryan Hurd, Whey Jennings, Kyle Daniel, Joe Zelek and Frank Vieira.

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