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2014 WE Fest calmer so far, despite stabbing; 'weather is great and people are having fun'

Neil, Kimberly and Reid Perry of The Band Perry sing a song during their WE Fest performance Friday night. Brian Basham/DL Newspapers1 / 2
General admission WE Festers get their hands in the air as Randy Houser sings Garth Brooks' "Friends in low places" during WE Fest Friday evening. Brian Basham/DL Newspapers2 / 2

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – Cooler temperatures and tempers prevailed Friday at WE Fest, keeping the spectacles to the stage.

Despite a stabbing incident that injured three men early Thursday, Becker County Sheriff Kelly Shannon said the number of reported incidents from past years has gone down and that 2014 is relatively calm.

“It’s been very good. The weather is great and people are having fun,” Shannon said.

He credited WE Fest organizers for being conscious of festival-goers’ safety, particularly the emergency medical services and chaplain crews for assisting people in need.

“They’re invaluable for everything they do for us,” Shannon said.

Standing at the command center just outside the east gate, he said law enforcement officers have made their presence known more and more over the last few years by being visible on the roads and in the campgrounds. He said at any time an estimated 25 sheriff’s and State Patrol officers are on site.

The calls law enforcement fields are changing.

“We’re getting less calls (about violence),” he said. “Years ago there used to be more arrests.”

As of late Friday afternoon, Shannon said there had been six DWIs, four assaults, five disorderly conducts and 12 warrant arrests made, all down from previous years.

While a breeze and temperatures in the mid-70s kept things cool, the action on the stage kept the record crowd of around 50,000 fired up.

The Band Perry took the stage at 8:30, shortly before this story was filed, with a big light and video show that hinted at what headliner Brad Paisley would have to top.

On the poppier side of country, singer Kimberly Perry bounced between brothers Neil and Reid, to a very choreographed “DONE.”

The trio kept up the youthful energy with “Night Gone Wasted.” Kimberly picked up a guitar for “You Lie,” but the band showed its real strength when the brothers added harmonies.

Kimberly extended the bloodlines to the entire crowd, encouraging the “one big country family” to sing and dance along with “All Your Life.”

Fans from Fargo-Moorhead got to see a friendly face when Fargoan Mark J. Lundquist sang the national anthem before The Band Perry, drawing cheers for his energetic performance.

If you go         

What: WE Fest

When: Today

Where: Soo Pass Ranch, Detroit Lakes, Minn.


Today’s lineup

2 p.m. – Gates open

2:45 – Chris Hawkey

4:15 – Thompson Square

6:15 – Travis Tritt

8:30 – Brantley Gilbert

10:45 – Zac Brown Band

12:30 a.m. – Chris Hawkey (Barn Stage)

Read last night’s Brad Paisley review at