Fans have been anxiously awaiting the return of Country Thunder held at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida and were fortunate enough to attend the festival this year, which took place on September 10-12, 2021. With headlining acts Eric Church, Old Dominion, and Dierks Bentley, the event was destined to have a large turn out.
Gates opened at 1pm on Friday afternoon, but fans were drinking tall boys and tailgating hours before they headed in to secure their spots. Nolan Sotillo kicked off the festival right at 2pm with some high energy and good tunes. As expected, the Florida rain rolled in and decided to make its first debut of the weekend following the opening acts. However, the Country Thunder team worked quickly and smoothed out the rest of the lineup to make sure fans still had an enjoyable night. As the sun was setting and the rain clouds were moving out, Heritage Park began to filled up in anticipation of the popular band, Old Dominion. The band put on quite the set with an array of light displays and fan favorite singles.
Day 2 kicked off with Jenny Tolman, who I believe is a hidden gem in the country genre. She put on a great set and had the crowd entertained and singing along from start to finish. Following her performance, Mother Nature took her course and decided to send some rain. Unlike the day before, strong winds were an added element and caused several tents to fall apart and fly away. The circus tent set up in the back had been filled to the brim with attendees running from the severe weather only to be turned away as it nearly caved in due to the amount of rain. Fortunately, the security team were quick thinking and guided fans outward and cut holes into the top to release the weight of the water. After this small bump in the road, the night continued on with its strong lineup which led to an amazing performance by Eric Church.
The final day rolled in and began earlier than the previous two with opening act Payton Smith. Luckily the weather was beyond us and the sun decided to shine on down to end the festival on a good note. Although Parker McCollum was unable to attend, it allowed for the other acts to extend their set times for others to enjoy. Jon Langston put on quite a show and shared some liquor with country goers in the front row. And if that wasn’t an amazing enough experience, Russell Dickerson bounced around the entire stage making sure to interact with as many people as possible. Dierks Bentley closed out the main stage and made one guy’s night by inviting him on stage to shotgun a beer. Unfortunately for Dierks, he lost in front of several thousand fans but was of course a good sport about it and was just glad to give him a great experience. Following his performance, everyone ran back towards the circus tent for the Hardy Party hosted by Hardy himself. Fans were rowdy and ready to party. The tent was full beyond belief leaving some fans to sitting right outside in hopes of catching site of Hardy. Would I say Country Thunder Florida was a success? Absolutely! I highly suggest y’all get your tickets now for next years event as I’ve heard that the lineup is going to be amazing!
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