BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Bayou Country Superfest was in full swing Saturday and some fans got a special surprise - free tickets for the entire weekend.
Thousands of people packed into Tiger Stadium for the second night of the Memorial Day weekend concert, but some of the fans got in absolutely free thanks to the generosity of one Louisiana group.
In the shadow of Tiger Stadium, under a small tent, lives were touched one ticket at a time. For the second day in a row, the Louisiana Heroes Project gave away free weekend passes to the Bayou Country Superfest. The gesture was exclusively for veterans, first responders and their families. Tawney Tallo, co-founder of the group, said it was a way to thank those who have sacrificed so much.
"We've been doing it for four years now," Tallo said. "I know my other co-founder, Sienna Schehr, came up with the idea and it's just gone crazy since the first year."
The group received close to 1,000 tickets from event organizers and said passing them along to those who serve and protect was an obvious and easy decision.
"If we can help make their weekend a little better by forgetting whatever's going on in their life and getting into the stadium and enjoying some good music, then that's the least we can do," Tallo added.
The least they could do went a long way for veteran Brent Gardner, who said thanks to the organization he can now enjoy the three-day event with his entire family.
"No, I wouldn't have been able to afford it or come to it," Gardner said. "Oh, I'm excited just to be with my mom, my cousins, my nieces and my son and all that and just get to see Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean, Darius Rucker and Eric Church sing them all. I like them all and we're just going to have a good time."
The tickets range anywhere from the third row in the stands to floor seats and give these special guests a perfect spot to enjoy the biggest names in country music.
"Oh, it was an awesome feeling. It made me jump up for joy and my family because this is my mom's first time coming here," Gardner added.
Gardner also said he is still trying to wrap his mind around what he calls the gift of a lifetime.
"This is a gift, definitely, that words can't describe and I really do thank Louisiana for doing this for us," he explained.
Saturday was the final day the group passed out tickets to the concert, but it does host several events throughout the year.