UMass is beefing up security measures ahead of The Blarney Blowout event in downtown Amherst Saturday.

The raucous tradition has a reputation for drawing drunken crowds and wild behavior.

“There are going to be a lot of people doing some crazy things. So everybody needs to be careful and just watch out for each other, because we don’t want it to get out of control like it has in the past,” said Zach Richardson, a UMass senior.

The 2014 Blarney Blowout overtook downtown Amherst. Police wearing riot gear made 55 arrests and used pepper balls to tame the crowds.

While the event is not a school-based activity, UMass has rolled out a comprehensive safety plan.

“There are many preparations underway for the upcoming weekend. We’ve been working very closely with our partners in Amherst to ensure a safe environment,” said UMass spokesperson Ed Blaguszewski.

A parking ban will go into effect prohibiting visitor parking during the weekend.

“We have very strong restrictions in terms of visitors on campus. There are no visitors allowed to stay in residence halls this weekend. Part of our concerns in the past is outside folks coming in and creating difficulties in the community,” Blaguszewski added.

The University is hosting a star studded concert on Saturday at the Mullins Center. Big Sean, 21 Savage, and Goldlink are set to perform. The tickets are free for students.

Last year’s event was tame and they hope to carry on that tradition.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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