The morning started off with running into a sleepy Dierks Bentley in our hotel lobby as we were on our way to Mosport for Gospel Brunch hosted by Willie and Jace from Duck Dynasty. Unsure of what to expect, the Dynasty guys did a great job keeping the impressively large crowd (for 11am on a Sunday morning after two days of binge drinking) entertained. The session did turn quite religious for such a diverse crowd, but we suppose the title Gospel Brunch should’ve clued everyone in.
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Music was provided by the adorable trio of brothers – High Valley, who also played a set later in the afternoon and did their largest autograph signing to date! (She’s Gone Country sat down with the High Valley guys for an interview – stay tuned!)
Day four gave us the opportunity to take in the entire festival. In addition to the stages, there was a plethora of different booths set up for shopping, carnival rides, camel rides, and of course, fried everything. We did a little shopping and even tried our first beaver tail! A tip for those attending next year: Don’t wait til the last day to buy your merch – they WILL sell out of just about everything! Also, the Boots and Hearts merch was pretty cute, we hope they will offer some of it online! Tebey also played and made a stop by the World Vision tent for fans!
Right before Dierks’ set was when security seemed to get really strict about searching people entering from the premium parking lot. This caused a bit of a traffic jam/lineup to get into the performance area as people were literally being admitted one at a time. Not too bad, but we are sure there could have been a better way to do this.
The Sunday headliners were Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert. The performance at Boots and Hearts marked Dierks Bentley’s 18th day of performances in a row – although his energy was as high as show #1, which is truly impressive. Dierks definitely wowed the crowd and we heard many concert-goers describe his performance as the favorite of the weekend. Note: Dierks gets our award for fan interaction. For the lucky few who sprung for sides-stage tickets, Dierks single-handedly made them worth every penny. Singing, touching hands, walking the catwalk and even giving away a guitar to a lucky fan! He was loving the Boots and Hearts concert goers!
Right before Miranda took the stage, the 2014 festival announcement was shown on the big screens, to the crowd’s delight (Red, Red, Red, Red, Red, Neck) Blake Shelton appeared via video feed to let us know he’d be headlining next year, his first visit back to Ontario in 3 years.
With the crowd revved from Shelton’s surprise announcement, Miranda took the stage and put on a firehouse performance, definitely rivaling Aldean for best of the weekend. Watching Lambert perform, it’s hard to wrap your head around the fact she once lost anything, let alone a country music competition (Nashville Star, 2003). The reigning Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year is a force to be reckoned with on stage – if you have not yet seen her put on a live show, you’re definitely missing out. Lambert was a great choice to close up the weekend. Girl Power! ( Sorry, we had to go there).
Lineup – Jason Aldean, the Band Perry, Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley, Duck Dynasty
- Canadian talent showcased
- People watching
- Really cute merchandise
-There was always something to do and a freebie to be had
-The food – greasy, fried deliciousness was totally up everyone’s alley and an obvious hangover remedy. However, for those who were craving a little fresh food goodness, we did see a large lineup at Pita Pit nearly all weekend!
- The facilities. The Porta-Poties were honestly some of the best we’ve seen, kept as clean as can be expected, even on day four.
- Lineups – to enter the festival via vehicle, to enter the performance area, food, beer….etc,
- Stage set up for premium ticket holders blocked the view for the majority of concert goers.
- The Weather!
- No wifi/cell reception
Did the highlights far outweigh the lowlights? Absolutely. Although lineups are to be expected at a festival of this size, organization could be improved – but that will come with time and experience.