Luke Bryan kicks off Stampede

By Paul Harris

Riley County EMS Director Larry Couchman called Thursday night’s Country Stampede crowd “tame and well-behaved.” Couchman estimates that it was one of the largest Thursday night crowds that he has seen at Stampede.

Luke Bryan headlined Thursday night’s group of acts, which started with Lucas Hoge followed by The Cleverlys and The Farm. Bryan capped the first night of the four-day festival with his performance.

In total, Couchman said 50 people were treated for various health problems. There were three soft-tissue injuries, which Couchman said might have been related to the mud and slippery campgrounds. There was also one orthopedic injury. Three of the 50 patients were treated for alcohol-related issues.

Otherwise, “nothing stood out,” Couchman said.

As the festival heads into the weekend, Couchman said he expects more heat-related issues. Temperatures are expected to climb in to the 90s, according to

Saturday is the biggest concern for Couchman though as people continue to push their bodies toward the “verge of dehydration.”

It is expected to be 97 degrees on Saturday, according to weatherreports, with an overnight low of 75 degrees.

As a result of the high temps, Couchman encourages Stampeders to drink plenty of water and “use common sense so they can enjoy the whole weekend.”

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