BLOOMVILLE - Smokin' Country Concert's promoter and one of the performers were charged after a fight on the grounds Saturday.
Seneca County Sheriff Bill Eckelberry said there was a misunderstanding between Elmer Cole Jr., the concert's promoter, and Tracy Lawrence, one of the performers. He said it sounded like people at the concert had pulled out a couple of other buses but couldn't get to Lawrence's bus right away. Words were exchanged and the fight broke out.
"He was actually done (performing)," he said.
The grounds of the concert, in its first year, were muddy after rain fell Saturday.
Cole and Lawrence each were charged with disorderly conduct, a minor misdemeanor, and were issued a summons to appear in Tiffin Municipal Court, Eckelberry said.
Cole, who owns the property where the concert was held, turned 52 Saturday, officials said.
Eckelberry said he was told Lawrence had facial injuries, while Cole did not have visible injuries. Both were transported to Mercy Tiffin Hospital by ambulance and were treated and released, according to authorities.
"When I got here (early Sunday morning), things
were really calmed down," Eckelberry said.
Seneca County Sheriff's Office requested a Tiffin Police Department officer standby at the hospital. Neither person was causing any problems, according to a police report.
Lawrence was the concert's 8 p.m. performer Saturday.
Eckelberry said he understood the fight happened around the area where a driveway extended from the campground entrance to the concert stage. The fight was over when deputies arrived, and they got conflicting stories about who started it, he said.
Eckelberry said a large tractor pulled out the tour buses for Lawrence and Randy Houser, who had been scheduled to perform at 10 p.m. Saturday. Houser's performance was canceled due to lightning.
Eckelberry said it will be up to people involved in the fight whether they would like to pursue further charges. Officials are going to continue to read statements and probably will confer with the city prosecutor before moving forward, he said.
A call was placed and an e-mail was sent to Lawrence's representatives Sunday afternoon. Tony Smith, who assisted with the event's promotion, said Cole was busy at the concert and unavailable Sunday afternoon. Cole could not be reached by phone Sunday evening.
Security personnel were on duty throughout the grounds, and deputies were in the area and responded to issues inside the gate when needed.
Prior to the end of the event Sunday, Eckelberry said sheriff's office officials had had to assist on the site less than five times.
"It's been relatively quiet (call-wise)," he said Sunday morning.
Eckelberry estimated up to nine deputies were in the area Saturday night. They had been parking their cruisers in driveways across the road from the concert venue and patrolling Bloomville.
"We've been out here since Friday," he said.
Officials are asking witnesses of the fight to contact the sheriff's office at (419) 447-3456.