Police shakedowns at concerts and festivals have perpetually been an issue that many patrons face on a regular basis. Safety is always of the utmost importance when it comes to these situations but there are issues with this ongoing dilemma that tend to be overlooked.
Recently at a Phish concert in Raleigh, NC 65 people were arrested for non-violent crimes. The charges included drug possession, distribution and doing business without a permit as well as sharing alcohol with a minor. In total 115 charges, including 25 felonies, were issued to mostly out of state individuals.
Phish concerts are notoriously known for having a wild crowd, but always with a positive energy that promotes community and love as their core message. An amazing aspect of music and live concerts in general is the fact that it brings like-minded individuals together in an environment where they are encouraged to express themselves. Illegal substances have nothing to do with this aspect of music culture, but when people are being reprimanded for non-violence it does raise some eye-brows.
Was Phish targeted by authorities? Are we going to see a rise in concert arrests in the future? We will have to wait and see. Advice: be safe, be smart and educate those around you.