BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Country music is taking over the Twin Cities this weekend, for a three day party filled with music and booze.
Tailgate n’ Tallboys, one of the largest music festivals in Central Illinois, starts Thursday night and will continue through Saturday at the Interstate Center.
The festival features country music, beer, camping and of course, tailgating–bringing a little bit of Nashville flair to the Twin Cities. President of USA Concerts and Events, Wayne Klein said he expects upward of 22-23,000 attendees to see some of country music’s biggest acts perform.
Concertgoers from across the nation are coming to Bloomington this weekend for the Tailgate n’ Tallboys country music festival, Klein said.
Some of country music’s biggest acts and some up-and-comers will rock the Interstate Center weekend
“It’ll be non-stop music from 3 p.m. until probably about 11:00, 11:30 whenever Morgan Wallen is done,” Klein said.
This year headlining acts include Riley Greene, Morgan Wallen and Brantley Gilbert. Wallen, arguably one of country music’s biggest stars right now was slated to perform last year, however was pulled after a video showing him using a racial slur circulated headlines and social media.
“I haven’t really heard any controversy, I mean, obviously last year there was a lot, but it’s kind of faded away so it’s nice to get that behind him,” Klein said.
Klein estimates that 22,000 people will attend Friday night’s concert to see the multi-time ACM and CMA award nominated “Whiskey Glasses” star perform.
“He likes to have a good time, likes to put on an amazing show, so I’m excited to see the reaction of the fans,” Klein said.
An event this large requires months of planning, according to McLean County Emergency Management Agency director Cathy Beck. Beck said they’re especially monitoring the heat indexes that could exceed 100 degrees.
“Wear light colors, be hydrated, pay attention to the heat, sunscreen,” Beck said to potential attendees.
According to Beck, this weekend is a team effort between the EMA, police and fire to make sure the event is fun, yet safe.
“That way you’re doing things and you already know what you’re doing and you’re not needing to scramble,” Beck said.
Bloomington’s Fire Department will be handling emergency services and first aid while Normal Fire Department will handle any fires that may occur. Public Education Officer Eric Davison for the Bloomington Fire Department said crews will work overtime from start to finish of the performers to ensure audience healthy and safety.
“If you do feel dizzy, have a headache, those sort of things, you can do to those first aid tents and they can aid you with that,” Davison said.
Concession stands will offer buy one, get one water deals from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. during the heat indexes. Klein encourages attendees to drink plenty of water before showing up as well.
Bloomington and Normal Police are also warning of traffic delays in the area of West Market and West College Avenue on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 2:00 p.m. to midnight.
Directions to Tailgates n’ Tallboys are available on the Normal Police Department’s Facebook page and are copied below. More information on the festival can be found at their website.