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Growing concerns over Legion Field concert next month

Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 10:59 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Some people in Birmingham say they’re concerned about safety at the Independence Weekend Summer Slam concert at Legion Field, scheduled for July 3.

City leaders told WBRC they had been meeting for weeks with the Birmingham Police Department to formulate a security plan that keeps the public, personnel and talent safe.

The issue was brought up at Tuesday’s council meeting by Councilor Darrel O’Quinn.

“One of the performers [artist Pooh Shiesty] scheduled for that concert on July 3, has been arrested for a shooting in Miami,” said O’Quinn.

Artist Lontrell Denell Williams Jr. known by stage name Pooh Shiesty, 21, was arrested Tuesday by Miami-Dade County. According to jail records, Williams faces multiple charges including felony aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, assault, and robbery.

Pooh Shiesty has been removed from the lineup according to T3 Entertainment.

Counselor Darrell O’Quinn expressed not wanting to be associated as a sponsor.

“I don’t want to be associated with a performer who’s currently in jail for shooting someone,” O’Quinn said.

Birmingham expected 15,000 people to attend the outdoor concert which included big acts such as Jeezy, Boosie, and Lil Durk.

A spokesperson for the Birmingham Parks and Recreations board, Stanley Robinson, said the safety plan included the use of metal detectors, clear bags only, private and public security.

“Doing everything within our power to make any event safe any enjoyable experience for the fans. As I said, we have those policies in place, and we will adhere to those,” Robinson said.

Robinson said the specific details of BPD’s security plan could not be divulged for safety reasons.

O’Quinn worried about ongoing violence in the city.

“Thought [needs to be] given to how that event might affect the level of violence in the city,” O’Quinn concluded.

Council President William Parker said the event had a greater purpose and that was getting more youth vaccinated against COVID-19.

T3 Entertainment sent this statement to WBRC:

T3 Entertainment is a company that prides itself on conducting great business and fostering outstanding relationships. We have been doing concerts, events, and festivals individually and collectively for well over 15 years without incident. We go above and beyond to ensure the safety of our patrons and surrounding communities. For every event under our umbrella we make sure that there is an adequate amount of city police and personal security present.

As it pertains to the event scheduled for July 3, 2021 at Legion Field, we have made several contacts and held several meetings in reference to safety coverage of the event (as it is our first priority). There is a clear bag / no bag policy and no umbrella policy. There will also be metal detectors at each entry point. We will have security patrolling the parking lot as well as the field and bleachers during the concert. We will also enforce a no re-entry rule with proper signage.

As for the artist Pooh Shiesty, we understand why his latest incident would be a cause of concern. Therefore, we have decided to remove him from the concert.

It is our goal to create an enjoyable annual event for the City of Birmingham and surrounding areas. We have a goal to do something positive for the youth and give them an opportunity to see some of their favorite artists live in concert. For this event, we have partnered with the City of Birmingham and Parks & Recreation to promote Covid 19 Vaccinations and as an incentive some will receive free tickets to the concert.

We plan to continue our growth in the Birmingham market. We currently project to have at least 3-4 events per year at Legion Field exclusively. The events will range from Hip Hop, R&B Soul, Country, and General Market.

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