The concert before the Dave Matthews Band concert, the party before the party. But all that play means a lot of work for some, especially with the memories of a Dave Matthews visit just a couple years back.
"The area experienced about 70 medical transports per night, for a concert, to the area hospitals," Dr. Steven Wolf, of St. Francis Hospital, said.
Tailgaters began arriving in Hartford early morning Friday for the 8 p.m. Dave Matthews Band concert and traffic was heavy as tens of thousands of people were expected to head into the capital city for the weekend.
Between 20,000 and 23,000 people were expected on Friday night at Xfinity Theater alone -- which you might still call the Meadows if you’ve lived in Connecticut for awhile.
With cooperation from Xfinity Theater and various agencies, Hartford Police were taking no prisoners with those showing up drunk.
"If you are, they put you back out to the picnic tables out here, to either call home and get picked up, rather than make a mess of yourselves inside," Hartford Police Chief James Rovella said.
Or people risked being taken away by ambulance and missing the popular band.
"Pretty much, because they're not well enough to be inside," Rovella said.
The stepped-up strategies and enforcement were rather inconspicuous, even for this veteran of ten Dave Matthews shows in Hartford.
"It's been steady, they've been pretty good, actually," Sam Wynne, of North Salem, New York, said. "They just drove by earlier, and they were joking around with us and having a good time, so I think they've come to some reasonable standards."
Another concert-goer, Alex Santos, of Stamford, said "it stayed calm."
"I mean it's Dave Matthews. It's cool, calm, cool, collected. Everybody loves Dave," Santos said.
Police warned on Thursday that crowds could arrive as early as 4 p.m. to tailgate for the 8 p.m. concert, creating a mess of the Friday evening commute, but people were already tailgating as of 3:30 a.m.
In addition to the Dave Matthews Band concert, "Men Are From Mars - Women Are From Venus" is at the The Bushnell, "Kiss Me, Kate," is at Hartford Stage and "Mike Super" is at Xfinity Hall.
Expect heavy congestion and plan accordingly.