What a weekend! Thousands of country fans, from all over the country came to Ohio in order to attend The Country Fest. It was held at Clay's Park in North Lawrence, Ohio. This was the fifth year, the outdoor festival was held in the vicinity of the water park.
The number of fans flocking to The Country Fest has not only grown every year, but the magnificent surroundings in which the event is held has expanded as well! This year, the new and impressive 10,000 sq ft stage featured popular headliners, including Jake Owen, Brad Paisley, and Brantley Gilbert.
Country stars, “The Cadillac Three”, Tyler Farr and Craig Morgan kicked off the event on Thursday. Afterwards, headliner Jake Owen took the stage with a beach theme. Adding to the ambiance of the event barefoot on a cool, balmy night, Owens, sailed through his hits! One of them included his current hit, "Beachin," which comes from his fourth studio album, "Days Of Gold.” The "Barefoot Blue Jean Night" singer has a lot on his plate. He is headlining his own tour for the first time and The Country Fest just happened to be one of the stops. Also, he is a new father to an 18 month-old named Olive Pearl!
On Friday, the Country Fest brought more fans out to see the musical entertainment of Charlie Worsham and Leah Turner. They fired up the crowd before Charlie Daniels came on stage. Daniels, of the “Charlie Daniel Band,” graced the stage with his presence. At 77 years of age, he still is a strong fixture in the country music world. Daniels is best known for his hit, "The Devil Went Down To Georgia.”
Country super star and headliner, Brad Paisley, closed out the evening on Friday. It is not often that this local community gets someone of Paisley’s caliber. His fans got a lot out of this momentous occasion and made the superstar feel at home! His performance was all the more electrifying as he made full use of the 10,000 sq stage and cat walk while performing his biggest hits for some of his most ardent fans. Paisley has numerous ACM and CMA awards and is no stranger to the stage. In fact, he has 18 No 1's on the Billboard country charts with hits, such as "She's Everything" and "Then.” Also of note, there was a touching moment earlier in the show when he signed one of his guitars and gave it to a little fan in the audience. It was an adorable, little girl with a pink cowgirl hat, which Paisley also signed!
The Country Fest finished with a bang on Saturday in which even more fans came out to enjoy the performances and the weather. It does not seem that one could have asked for a more perfect day in which to sit and listen to the popular boys of country music. Former “Survivor” contestant (Nicaragua), Chase Rice, and singer-song writer, Cole Swindell, got things rolling; Rice is also known for co-writing Florida Georgia Line's monster hit "Cruise." Swindell is also known for his hit, "Chillin-It," whose debut album was released in February.
After the opening performances, Thomas Rhett, with his good looks and country boy swagger, took the stage. The son of country singer-song writer, Rhett Akins, Thomas is not riding on his father’s coattails. With two radio hits of his own, he has also been making a name for himself in the world of country music. The most memorable song from Thomas’ set was his Garth Brooks cover of "Friends In Low Places." He brought a rather large gentleman up from the audience wearing red, white and blue shorts that was trying to dance and sing. He gave it the old college try though. Country bad boy, Brantley Gilbert, kept the party rolling Saturday night, bringing day three of the Country Fest to a successful finish! He reminded his fans why he was chosen as a headliner and commanded the stage like a true professional. Gilbert currently has the No. 1 single, "Bottoms Up.” This song comes from his latest album, "Just As I Am." Its emphasis is not only on love but on all areas of the recently single singer’s life, including his faith and, of course, partying. Although he is sober now, Gilbert does not shy away from the subject of his former partying life style.