CANTON – Tailgaters within the commuter parking lot at Nation Fest have been having a celebration on a sunny, cool Saturday afternoon earlier than the concert events even began.
Followers sat at the back of pickup vehicles or gathered round in chairs, listening to nation music whereas sipping beer and different alcoholic drinks.
Sizzling canines have been grilled. Revelers performed a ingesting sport known as thump involving a hammer, nail and tree stump. Cornhole video games additionally have been taking place.
“It is a fixed occasion,” Sierra Barr, 23, stated of the jubilant, carefree vibe. “Nation (music) persons are all household.
“I took every week off work for this,” the Pennsylvania resident stated.
Barr’s good friend, Kylee McCarty, 22, of the Pittsburgh space, welcomed a passerby into their tailgate space with a smile and pleasant dialog.
“I’d take this over a seaside trip any day,” stated the elementary faculty instructor and faculty scholar.
“Nation music is my favourite,” she stated. “There is a a narrative behind each tune.”
The environment at Nation Fest at Clay’s Resort Jellystone Park was good vibes solely. Earlier within the week, when campers and commuters poured into the grounds, site visitors had backed up on Route 93, taking some guests hours to get into the occasion. However site visitors was flowing easily at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
Saturday was the fourth and last day of Nation Fest. Closing out the occasion have been Ernest, Larry Fleet, HARDY and Morgan Wallen. Earlier within the week, nation music stars had included Jason Aldean and Brantley Gilbert.
A number of particular occasions additionally have been deliberate Saturday evening, together with a flyover carried out by Fort Aviation, based mostly on the Akron-Canton Airport.
A file crowd of round 25,000 folks was anticipated for Wallen’s present, in accordance with Nation Fest organizers. Followers had proven up in larger numbers earlier within the day than previous years.
Wallen is taken into account the most well liked touring act in all of music in the meanwhile, Nation Fest co-founder Aaron Inexperienced had stated just lately.
Followers on Saturday steadily cited Wallen as the explanation for attending Nation Fest.
Occasion attracts real nation music followers
Nation Fest additionally drew followers from as far-off as Alaska, Eire and Australia.
Mike Perrault, 44, of Connecticut, stated he made the journey on the insistence of his daughter, Allison Perrault, who loved Nation Fest final summer season.
“Nation music in Connecticut is a complete totally different setting,” the daughter stated whereas standing atop a hill overlooking 1000’s of followers. “That is superb.
“You will by no means have a look at nation music in Connecticut the identical after you have been right here.”
Added Chase Eby, a member of the Perraults’ group: “They’re real and captivated with their nation music (at Nation Fest).”
West Virginia teen calls occasion ‘overwhelming’
Many followers have been returning to the nation music extravaganza for an additional yr. Newbies have been additionally readily available, together with Addison Newsome, 16, and Karli Smith, 17, each of West Virginia.
“It is in all probability going to be some of the thrilling moments of my life,” Newsome stated whereas standing close to a runway related to the principle stage greater than an hour earlier than Ernest was to carry out.
Smith stated she needed to attend Nation Fest after studying so many optimistic on-line feedback about it from followers.
Wednesday’s Aldean live performance was implausible, she stated.
“It was overwhelming,” Smith stated, carrying a black cowboy hat. “I did not count on (the group) to be as large because it was.”
‘You get away from all the pieces and simply break free.’
Rodney Isom, 57, traveled from just some miles away for his summertime ritual.
Cooking scorching canines, the North Lawrence resident supplied one to a stranger.
“That is our eighth,” Isom stated of Nation Fest. “It is such an excellent time – good music, good meals, good camaraderie, good pals.
“You get away from all the pieces and simply break free,” the machinist stated. “For 3 days in a row, it is undoubtedly an excellent getaway. We purchased the entire (ticket) bundle for Morgan Wallen.”
Wallen’s chart-topping “Harmful: The Double Album” is loaded with hit songs and catchy melodies, stated Isom, who was joined by his spouse, Colleen Isom and a relative, Renee O’Connor of Virginia Seaside.
“I simply assume the lyrics hit residence for lots of people, and he is younger and up and coming,” Rodney Isom stated of Wallen. “He went by a bit of little bit of a trial there, and he fought again, and he places his household and and love for his spouse and children first.”
Morgan Wallen, beer and pals make for a good time
Not removed from Isom’s group was Jessica Petkac, 33, of Cleveland, who sipped a drink whereas stress-free in a chair. This was her fifth Nation Fest.
“It is like America, pals and nation music,” she stated of the large occasion. “Everyone simply having an excellent time. This competition is the largest I’ve ever been to.”
Requested what makes Wallen such a premium attraction, Petkac’s good friend, Tiffany Browning, 34, stated: “It is like nation, nevertheless it’s additionally a bit of rappish.”
Added Petkac: “He is very versatile; you do not have to be a rustic fan to take heed to Morgan Wallen.”
Attain Ed at 330-580-8315 and [email protected] On Twitter: @ebalintREP.
This text initially appeared on The Repository: Nation Fest has file crowd for last day with HARDY, Morgan Wallen