2014 WeFest expected to be the largest one so far
Detroit Lakes, MN (WDAY TV) - We Fest kicked off its first night of concerts on the main stage Thursday, with Jason Aldean starting off a big lineup of headliners.
Over the years, it's become a festival we can count on to bring thousands into Lakes Country.
WE Fest officials tell me they are on pace to break the attendance record they set two years ago.
To give you an idea of what it takes to make it all happen, we bring you WeFest by the numbers.
It's one of the biggest outdoor country music festivals in the world.
Diane Pochardt: "This will be our 25th year to WeFest in Detroit Lakes, and we love it!"
In its 32nd year, organizers say WeFest is bigger than ever.
They expect more than 50,000 people to enter the gates.
12 country music acts will grace the main stage over the 3-day festival.
Rick Bauer: "Good time, great time, great music."
John Gourley/Chief Marketing Officer: "Amazing talent. Both the superstars, and we kind of pride ourselves on picking the superstars of tomorrow."
When the live music stops, the party continues at the campgrounds.
They expect campers to clock in at 30,000 people a day.
Pochardt: "The people are the main thing, we love them, everybody's happy, and everybody wants to be here."
To make it all happen takes a lot of manpower.
About 5,000 employees and paid volunteers from the DL region and beyond work at WeFest.
Gourley: "It's a little city of 5,000 that work for months in advance to put this whole thing together."
But organizers say WeFest is about much more than the numbers they can bring in through the gate - it's about the people.
Gourley: "What will the audience think of it? It's more based on that than it is purely about the numbers. And that has really served us well."
Law enforcement is out in full force this weekend, as well.
During last year's WeFest, they made 63 arrests including 18 DUIs, and gave out 34 minor in consumption citations.