GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Country music star Brad Paisley is bringing his Country Nation College Tour to East Carolina University Thursday night.
The free concert goes on, rain or shine, starting at 7 p.m. in the parking lot outside Minges Coliseum. The easy-going parking lot party vibe is the trademark of Paisley’s Country Nation College Tour, yet it’s raising some questions about security.
The event is targeted towards students, but it is free and there’s no ticketing process, so anyone is welcome. 10,000 to 15,000 people are expected to attend.
Don’t expect it to be like events at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium or Minges Coliseum in the past.
“Football, you know there’s going to be tailgating before the game. Well, we’re not promoting a tailgate before the concert. This is still an academic day for our students that are here. They’re still parking and going from here to class,” said ECU Police Lt. Chris Sutton.
There will be security checkpoints to enter the enclosed area, preventing people from bringing in bags, food, drinks, or coolers. People can bring a chair or blanket to sit on.
The tour has visited several universities across the U.S. Lt. Sutton said, after consulting with law enforcement in those cities, he’s not concerned about the unique challenges of the environment.
“We know that we can handle the volume of people that we expect to have. We can handle the traffic and the amount of time that they’ll have starting at 4 o’clock to come in to park and then to come into the venue site,” Lt. Sutton said.
Parking could be an issue with so much of the lot reserved for the concert. Spots will be available in front of the football stadium and in lots off of Charles Boulevard. The lower Minges lot right off of Charles Boulevard will be reserved for students. Extra ECU and Greenville Police officers will be on hand to direct traffic.