A five-day festival called Redneck Rave in Kentucky, US, descended into violent chaos last week, including one man having his throat slit after a drunken fight, another man being impaled on a wooden log, and a woman being choked due to a fight over a blanket.
Other reports of injury and violence include severed fingers and assaults.
48 attendees are now facing criminal charges, including drug trafficking, felony assault, strangulation and drug possession. 14 of those charged were arrested, and the rest received citation.
The man suspected of slitting another man’s throat, supposedly a friend, has not been found. “They were intoxicated, they got into a fight, one of them slit the other one’s throat and then fled into the park,” said Sheriff Shane Doyle to Kentucky.com.
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The man accused of strangling a woman over a fight over a blanket is a 29-year-old Missouri resident named Lancer Hodges. The victim said she was choked to the point of “losing consciousness” to police. Hodges denies the charge, but the arrest citation notes the woman had scratches on her neck, fingerprints behind her ears and was hoarse.
Police estimated around 7,000 to 21,000 people attended the festival, which was held in Blue Holler Offroad Park in Edmonson County, 90 miles south of Louisville, and billed as "America's wildest & craziest country party", promising “mud, music and mayhem.”
Sheriff Doyle said: “The first vehicle that came through, we found meth, marijuana, and an open alcohol container, and then one of the occupants had two active warrants ... We were like ‘well, this doesn’t bode well for the weekend.’”
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Activities the festival promised included a world record attempt for the world’s biggest demolition derby, a huge football game and goldfish racing. Tickets were priced between $50 and $250,
One man lost part of his finger when his vehicle, which was being held up by a jack, slipped off and fell onto his hand. “He didn’t lose the whole finger but he lost part of one,” according to Sheriff Doyle.
The man who was impaled on a log drove over the piece of wood, which broke through the floorboard of his vehicle and impaled him in the abdomen. He was flown to hospital.
“When it tried to come out through his back it was stopped by a steel plate behind his seat,” said Sheriff Doyle.
Other injuries include broken bones, dislocated fingers, lacerations, and more.
Police had to accompany medics attending to every injury due to the number of intoxicated people present.
The police had been aware the event was likely to descend into chaos after being “overwhelmed” by previous Redneck Rave gatherings, including a death last year, but noted they lacked the the budget or man power to effectively police it and provide 24-hour coverage.
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According to Kentucky.com, the organiser of the event relished the negative attention caused by the event.
Justin Stowers, a country rapper also known as Justin Time and the organiser of Redneck Rave, said the event “was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”
“Some would be mad about all these lies and over exaggerated headlines but you know what they say, no such thing as bad publicity,” he added.
Another Redneck Rave event is planned for October, due to run across October 14 to 17 according to a Facebook event.