FORT SILL, OK (KSWO) -A big concert is coming to Fort Sill Saturday night, and if you drive by the Fort Sill Polo Field you'll see a lot of activity getting the stage built.
This year's free show features Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band. You may recognize him from the movie "Forrest Gump," the band is named after his character in the film. Thursday, Marines on post started the two-day process of setting up the stage and getting the grounds ready for thousands of music fans with soldiers from Army Entertainment.
The main stage is up, but there's still lots of work to get done before Saturday night. One of the soldiers working on the stage says it's a tough job, but it's a job done best by the Army Entertainment crew.
The process for setting up the big stage on Fort Sill's Polo Field for Saturday's concert is quite a process.
"We just had to make sure the field was prepared because it had rained. So, we had to come out here and check the terrain and make sure we could get our vehicle onto the stage, because (it's) extremely heavy, about 70,000 pounds. So, we had to make sure we could get in without sinking or getting stuck in the mud," explained Frederick McDuffy, a soldier with the Army Entertainment crew.
McDuffy says it requires all hands on deck for safety purposes.
"It's more time efficient to have more volunteers out here. It's a lot of heavy equipment out here and a high chance for injury if you don't pay attention to what you're doing," McDuffy said.
He and the other volunteers say it's a chance worth taking.
"It's very rewarding anytime we can bring entertainment to our troops, the civilians, the family members. We've been doing this in Army Entertainment for over 30 years, so it's wonderful. It's wonderful for me and my whole team," McDuffy said.
But that's not the only cool part of McDuffy's job. He says putting in a couple of hours of hard work gives him a chance to bond with another branch of the military.
"It's awesome. I just finished talking to a group of them over there, just giving them some mentorship and some advice coming from 16 years of experience. They're fresh and just got into the military. I just wanted to give them some pointers and they can carry it with them throughout their career," McDuffy said.
If you plan on going to the free concert, you will not need an access pass if you use Gate 2 off of Rogers Lane near I-44. Gate 2 will open at 4 p.m. and you'll be able to park in Conklin Field. If you plan on using a different gate to access Fort Sill, you'll need to have either a DoD issued license or a visitor's pass.
Weapons, professional cameras and recording devices and outside food or drink are not allowed. Bags, backpacks, chairs and other items will be checked at the event entry point. Alcoholic beverages will be restricted to the concert area. Click here for a full list of rules and entry methods.
The Lt. Dan Band concert is Saturday, April 23. Concert gates open at 6 p.m. and the opening act, "Stolen Silver," takes the stage at 7 p.m. Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band will take the stage at 7:45 p.m.
The next stop for Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band will be at the Amp in Rogers, Arkansas, at the end of the month.