received an e-mail from Cat Romas, a country music fan who attended
the Downtown Hoedown this past weekend. She just came to have a
good time and enjoy some music by The Road Hammers, a Canadian band.
One of the band members asked security to open the gate in front
of the stage so fans could get a better view of their performance.
Romas ran to the newly-opened area to get a closer view.
After a few
songs, security forced everyone to go back to their former viewing
spots. Meanwhile, Romas was pushed into the cement wall with a metal
fence and fell backwards over some stage cables. Then, she was taken
to Detroit Receiving Hospital where she spent four hours that she
could've spent at the Hoedown enjoying music if it wasn't for the
rude security personnel.
an exclusive e-mail sent to AmericaJR.com, country music fan
Cat Romas shares her experience at the Downtown Hoedown:
name is Cat Romas. Just for info purposes: I can't, and don't,
drink, smoke (anything), nor do drugs, because of the prescription
meds I do have to take. This is my 'sad' story. I was in the
very front middle part of the upper stage, standing up against
a cement wall, when The Road Hammers were playing. This was
my first Hoedown. I was so excited and having such a good
time. I'm kind of a recluse and this Hoedown was the first
place I've gone to enjoy myself since the summer of 2004.
had seen a Hoedown worker (red shirt) open the metal fence;
across the crowd stage left. I was only about 15 ft. from
the fence by the stage right, which I immediately ran to when
I saw another worker had opened that fence! I was paying attention
to the stage when I felt crowded, so I backed up, went around
the people to my right, and again to the cement wall.
huge man in a dark blue shirt got right into my face and told
me that if I didn't start moving I'd be kicked out of the
park. I looked at him shocked, because I had no idea what
was going on. Did I do something wrong? I'm not used to crowds,
nor socializing, so I got kind of confused. He kept giving
me these hateful looks, which made me feel horrible. He was
extremely threatening towards me with his dreadful looks,
while leaning in toward my face, and his words.
kept asking him what was happening, and he kept saying 'keep
moving'. He then waved his hand toward some other workers,
and they picked up the metal fence; using it like an attack
barrier from 'Riot Control'! I was keeping my eyes on the
stage and these mean men, at the same time, when all of the
sudden the upper part of my back smashed into the cement wall
I'd been slowly walking beside.
had fallen backwards over a bunch of stage cables while being
rudely pushed away from having the time of my life. A nice
worker and a woman in the crowd had both reached a hand out
to me. Though I was hesident, I took each of the out stretched
hands after a moment, and was helped up.
arrived at the Hoedown around 04:30, or so, yet at 06:18 I
was in an ambulance on the way to the Detroit Receiving Hospital.
I spent over 4 hours there; verbal exams, cat scans, and x-rays.
Everyone was fairly nice, though I didn't care for the bad
language, nor all the negative talk about the Hoedown. I felt
a little alienated, yet not as much as I did from those men
who treated me as if I were some kind of criminal.
guess the most exciting thing I'll ever do from now on is
go grocery shopping, which I hate so much that I follow a
strict list, so I can get out as soon as posible. I'd like
it if someone would put this letter in the public eyes. Maybe
they should move the Hoedown to a contest winning Midwest
city that really wants us rednecks - we'll all move there!
Thanks for the ear,
was there when the incident happened. We actually spoke with the
band that was performing on the main stage at the time, The Road
years ago, Clayton had a great idea," said Jason McCoy of the
Canadian country band The Road Hammers.
pulled the barriers down and everybody came up front and rushed
to the stage. Security guys loved it. The only difference I found
this year is that the crowds were even bigger. There was even more
people kinda rushed to the stage and security was more worried than
last time. I noticed that. Security wasn't sure of what they were
gettin' a hold of or what they're gettin' in for."
of the AmericaJR.com Web Team were escorted out unfairly
has been covering the Downtown Hoedown since 2001. In 2003, we were
granted an all-access pass to cover the festival and were very grateful.
From 2004 until 2006, we received a limited access pass. It meant
we could go to some areas that the fans couldn't but also meant
we couldn't go backstage.
We are a
member of the Detroit media just like the Detroit Free Press, Detroit
News, Channels 2, 4 and 7. We are one of the official media sites
for Detroit on Google News. We have never came to the Hoedown to
do any harm or cause any disturbances.
reason, we haven't received media credentials for the last two years.
However, we still have a commitment to our visitors to cover the
Downtown Hoedown music festival. Keep in mind that the Downtown
Hoedown is a FREE outdoor music festival open to the public. The
organizer of the Hoedown, WYCD Radio, is treating the festival such
as a closed, private, invite-only event.
word that WYCD sent a letter to record labels, tour managers and
agents that our site is fake. This letter also indicated that these
individuals should not do business with us. It is one thing to deny
us a media credential but it is not OK to say false rumors about
our site. We understand completely that they are the official radio
sponsor of the festival. They have their sponsors and we have sponsors
for our coverage as well. There is no reason why AmericaJR.com shouldn't
be able to cover the Hoedown, with a media pass or not.
the First Amendment of the Constitution, the Freedom of the
shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,
or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the
freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people
peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for
a redress of grievances."
of the AmericaJR.com Web Team attended the 2008 Downtown Hoedown
on Friday. Their goal was to take pictures and conduct interviews
at the festival. Security personnel rounded them up and escorted
them out of the festival. Not only that, one of them was followed
to their car.
I was about to get a photograph with one of the stars next to the
GAC Tour Bus. Rissi Palmer and I were already standing next to each
other. I handed my camera over to a man who was working for GAC
to take the picture. One of the security ladies dressed in a red
coat put her hand in front of my camera and said "you're not
allowed to be here." As a member of the media or just a regular
person, what's wrong with getting a picture with a musician? I never
did get the picture, by the way.