Festival Review/Photos: Was the first annual “Country Night Lights” Festival a Success?

128Prime Social Group put together the first annual “Country Night Lights” festival that consisted of an amazing lineup of entertainment, a mechanical bull, a ferris wheel, and a nice selection of food, drink and merchandise vendors. This years inaugural lineup included Corey Hager, Christian Kaser Band, Carter Winter, Brooke Eden, Chase Bryant, Easton Corbin, and the headliner of the festival was none other than Sam Hunt. The early crowd was full of the die hard fans that wanted to arrive early to stake out their 597spot by the stage to get as close and personal as they could with the artists. Sponsors of this festival included Budweiser, Franklin Equipment, OYO, Whiskey Riff, Red Bull, CMA Federal Credit Union, Tequila Patrón, Texas Roadhouse, Southern Ohio Copperheads, DP Dough, Hampton Inn, Prime Social Group and Mike Gallicchio.

1078The first artist to perform for the evening would be Corey Hager. Corey is an up and coming artist from the town of Ripley, WV. Deafening screams came from the girls in the first few rows as Corey and his band would take to the stage. Corey has currently  released a full length CD titled “Wanna Be Country”. Check out Corey’s website at CoreyHager.com for more information.

1114Christian Kaser Band put on a performance full of energy as they would play many covers and originals as well. Christian’s latest release is titled “That’s What’s Up” and is currently available on spotify, so go take a listen. Christian would be followed by Ohio’s own “Bad Boy”, Carter Winter. 1285Carter would perform songs from his current EP titled “Some Kind Of Fire” including “Ohio” and “Bad Boy” which were definitely two of the crowds favorite songs. Carter would also perform a cover of Garth Brooks’ Rodeo as he would mention Garth as one of his favorite artists. If you would like more information on Carter Winter please visit www.carterwinter.com.

As I took time to wander around the festival grounds, I noticed this festival crowd having a lot of fun whether they were stage front or all the way in the back. I saw many couples dancing, drinking cold budweiser beer and having a great time. Many people were taking advantage of the mechanical bull located in the back of the grounds while others would stand around and watch in amusement. At one point two women made their attempt to ride the bull together and upon being thrown off, I witnessed the operator get up around the bull and told the girls to wait a minute. I had no idea what he was doing but eventually he had dug out some cash 138bills from the landing area and made sure that the money was returned to this rider who had apparently lost some cash during her ride. I commend this operator for his honesty! At this point, the festival grounds were beginning to get crowded and the fans were filing in for the remaining entertainers.

625Next up on the Country Night Lights stage was Brooke Eden. Brooke Eden was born in Loxahatchee, FL and has had the opportunity to open up for many headlining acts such as Alan Jackson, Florida Georgia Line, Sugarland and others. Brooke was also featured on Season 7 of American Idol and her release ‘American Dreamin’ is being played on “The Highway” on Sirius XM radio. For more information on Brooke Eden, check out BrookeEden.com.

115Chase Bryant has become very popular over the past year after being on tour with Tim McGraw and Billy Currington finding succes with hit songs like “Take It On Back” and his most recent release “Little Bit Of You”. Chase brings alot of excitement and energy to the stage with his proficient guitar skills and great vocals. Chase performed songs such as “Jet Black Pontiac”, “I Wanna Change Your Name”, “Little Bit of You”, “Take it On Back” and more. Connect with Chase online at www.chasebryant.com.

312As the sun was going down on grounds at The Venue of Athens, OH, the crowd become more excited than they had all night. Easton Corbin was getting ready to take the stage with Sam Hunt to follow. Corbin’s set was filled with many of his past hits including “A Little More Country Than That”, “Baby Be My Love Song”, “All Over The Road”, “Roll With It” and “Loving You Is Fun”. Corbin would also perform his most recent single “Yup” along with more new music from the new album with a song called “Guys and Girls”. Even with all of the hits that Corbin has had to date and the new music, he decided to perform a selection of covers including Joe Diffie’s “John Deere Green, Toby Keith’s “Should’ve Been A Cowboy”, Kenny Chesney’s “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy”, and Alan Jackson’s “Where I Come From”.  Easton Corbin tour dates and information can be found at EastonCorbin.com.

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After a full day of amazing entertainment and change over on stage, It was now time for the headliner of the evening to take the stage. It was without a doubt that the energy was about to be kicked into full gear as an estimated 10,500 plus fans had now been accounted for and stormed in on the grounds of the festival to see one of this years top breakthrough artists who is bound to have a big career. Sam Hunt may be considered as part of the country music genre but this guy can sing anything and will have no problem crossing genres on the airwaves. With three big hits and working on a fourth from his debut album Montevallo, Hunt has had success with “Leave The Night On”, “Take Your Time”, “House Party” and working on a big one with “Break Up In A Small Town”. Hunt brought a lot of energy to the stage and often jumped off stage to get closer to the crowd along the barricade singing with the fans while taking selfies and giving high fives. Sam was so full of energy and never stopped moving that even the spotlight had a hard time keeping up with him. Hunt also performed covers from some of the biggest female singers in the business including Reba McEntire’s “Fancy”, Trisha Yearwood’s “She’s In Love With The Boy”, 1055Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby”, Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and more. We hope you will take time to check out the photo slideshow  below from Sam’s performance and the “Country Night Lights” festival. For more information on Sam Hunt and tour dates check out SamHunt.com.

Our overall thoughts on this festival was that the Country Night Lights festival in it’s first year was a success. Anytime a new music festival begins there will be improvements to be made but the promoters of this festival were prepared for the crowds with sheriff presence and security on top of the issues that would arise in the crowd. The sound quality was top notch for an outdoor festival, porta-john’s were plenty, and the lines to the bars and the food vendors weren’t too bad throughout the day. Some improvements for next year could include such things as having the grounds rolled out/flattened due to many uneven surfaces and bumps throughout the grounds making it difficult to walk steady without having a beer let alone after a full day of drinking. Improvements could also be made on the VIP section as they could have brought the fans who paid more money closer access along the barricade and having the general admission behind that area as well as better lighting or addition of lighting in the parking lot. Another pro of this festival would have to be the drink prices as you could get water and soda for $2.00 and beer for $4.00. For those 594that have been to a Pro Baseball game or concert venue lately, you know these are good prices! If you don’t like these prices the festival allows tailgating and allows fans to bring their own cooler and BYOB to the parking lot to be able to get your drink on before the festivities begin on the “Country Night Lights” Festival stage. Ticket prices began at $25 at the lowest for those early bird ticket purchasers and were gradually increased as the festival date approached closer. Parking was available on site for $20 Gen. Admission and $30 for VIP and then once those filled up, overflow parking was available at the fairgrounds for $20 with a courtesy shuttle to and from the festival. As mentioned earlier in our article, MOST importantly of all an estimated 10,500 fans showed up to support these great artists and this amazing festival as they enjoyed a full day of live music and entertainment with memories to last a lifetime.

Connect with “Country Night Lights” Online:

www.countrynightlights.com

Instagram: @CountryNightLights

Twitter: @CNTRYNGHTLGHTS

Facebook: CNTRYNGHTLGHTS

Check Out Our Photo Slideshow below Courtesy of Jason Evans at JEvansPhotos.com

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