Updated: Tuesday, 07 Jul 2009, 6:13 AM EDT
Published : Monday, 06 Jul 2009, 11:43 PM EDT
ROTHBURY, Mich. (WOOD) - An empty field is all that's left at Rothbury after hundreds of tents were set out by campers throughout the 4th of July weekend.
Police told 24 Hour News 8 they made three times more arrests this year than last year, but said it was, overall, "a calm, good crowd."
Johnny is a California resident, but was still at the empty canopy of the Rothbury field on Monday. He was waiting for a tow truck. He didn't want to share his last name, but he did want to tell us a snippet about what sometimes happens behind the scenes.
He described the scene as "dancing for like 72 hours straight. Not sleeping and just having a blast; hugging everybody...it was brilliant".
Johnny was frank about the drug use at Rothbury this year. "Everybody uses and abuses drugs. Anybody who listens to any kind of music does. We all drink. We all pop prescription pills, we all do whatever we do, you know? Drugs are everywhere".
This is where the Michigan State Police come in, arresting 88 people this year. However,there were no fatalities in Rothbury 2009, unlike last year when two people died in drug related incidents.
First Lt. Kevin Leavitt said, "We didn't so much as change our approach, we just looked at the amount of people that were here, and if there was a criminal element, we targeted the criminal element".
In all, 30 arrests were felony violations and 58 were misdemeanor arrests - drugs, traffic violations, drunk driving or outstanding warrants.
"They can't catch us all," Johnny added.
Police said those arrests aren't surprising, considering the more than 33,000 people who created a veritable city overnight.
"We did focus a little bit on narcotics investigations, we did make some arrests and overall the crowd was a very calm, good crowd," Lt. Leavitt said.
The festival didn't revolve solely on illegal activity; there was of course, the music, the camaraderie and vendors like Harry Durbin. He is the owner of clothing company "Down Low Designs." On Monday, he was packing up for the road, but will miss West Michigan.
"Rothbury is the best festival I've ever been to. I've been to over 100 different festivals in my entire career and this is by far the best one of any other," Durbin said.
Organizers told 24 Hour News 8 they consider this year a success and are already planning Rothbury 2010.