Festival season exploded this past weekend in Kissimmee, Florida with Country Thunder Florida coming to town March 22 through March 24, 2019. Country Thunder is a country music festival that currently has five North American locations for the worlds top Country Music acts. Other locations include Country Thunder Arizona, Country Thunder Wisconsin, Country Thunder Saskatchewan, and Country Thunder Alberta. This festival was previously titled as Runaway Country for the past eight years.
Thousands of fans two stepped into Heritage Park for three days of country music this past weekend. Blanketed by sunshine with temperatures in the mid to low 80’s under partly cloudy skies, the weather was indeed perfect. The main stage had reserve seating in front of the stage with white plastic chairs behind barricades and the area outside the reserve area was covered with blankets, lawn chairs, and crazy country music fans. This was the ultimate tailgate festival, and everyone in attendance enjoyed themselves. Many of the concert goers had RV’s parked in the main lot to retreat to between shows and to rest at the end of each day. Friday’s show kicked off at 2pm with the Scooter Brown Band and continued to pick up momentum until the last act of the day, country icon Toby Keith who took the stage a little after 10pm.
Saturday had the same welcoming weather as the day before and the stage area filled a bit slower than on Friday. I guess many fans were taking their time leaving the tailgating at their RV after a great night. For the early birds, Jameson Rodgers started the day at 2pm with his performance. This day had the highest sales of one day passes as the festival was extremely packed when Luke Combs finally took the stage at 10pm. It appeared that there were over 20,000 fans in attendance as the atmosphere was rocking. After the last act every night the festival hosted a party in a tent called Electric Thunder with a live DJ to dance into the wee hours of the morning before putting the day to bed. This night the big top was a jumpin!
Day three started a bit later than the two previous days with Runaway June gracing the stage at 2:30pm. These ladies were just what was needed to ease into the last day of this festival with beautiful three-part harmonies. But, it didn’t last long into their set when it was evident to the crowd, there wouldn’t be any easing and this party was just getting started! The crowd trickled back to their positions and by mid afternoon the venue was nearly filled. By the time Luke Bryan hit the stage at about 10:15pm, opening with his patented “Country Girl (Shake it for Me)”, the fans were in an absolute frenzy from beginning to the end of his set.
Country Thunder left its mark on Central Florida this past weekend and I can honestly say that Runaway Country will not be missed.