Updated Tue, Apr 15, 2014 1:48 pm
The last college fest of the season was deemed a success by organizers, even with more than 100 total charges given out by law enforcement.
The crowd grew this year to an estimated 16,000 to 17,000, the largest attendance the event has seen since its inception in 2004, according to organizer Dominic Petrozzi.
Even the shutting down of Route 56 didn’t slow down the party, especially since it was a pre-planned strategy to help get the crowds out of The Venue in an orderly manner, Petrozzi said.
The Athens County Sheriff’s Office closed the route from County Road 19 (Radford) to Route 682 from 8:30 p.m. to about 11:30 p.m. Saturday night.
The closure was arranged by fest organizers in partnership with Athens city and county law enforcement, Petrozzi said, and it was the third plan in a number of plans to keep people safe as they left #Fest.
“The first plan was to let the buses run all the way back from The Venue (to the Athens County Fairgrounds drop off area), but then when that got overloaded we wanted to let the buses stop on 56 and for people to walk the rest of the way,” Petrozzi said. “But after that got over-the-top, we wanted to just make the road a pedestrian walkway.”
Official numbers were not yet available from the Athens County Sheriff’s Office on the number of arrests, but the Ohio Investigative Unit, who does plain-clothes enforcement focusing on liquor control violations, noted 85 arrests made Saturday night.
A total of 124 charges were filed, including underage alcohol consumption, possession of fake identification, disorderly conduct, obstructing official business and marijuana offenses, according to the OIU numbers.