We headed to Mosport Sunday afternoon already exhausted from the weekend’s festivities but ready for one more day. We checked out the Gospel Brunch hosted by Paul Brandt and a saw surprising amount of early risers.
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Sunday’s lineup saw up and comers Tyler Farr and Dan and Shay on the Sirius XM stages and Danielle Bradberry, Neal McCoy and Gord Bamford hit the main stage to get the crowed pumped. Neal McCoy shared a sweet story of playing at Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert’s 2011 wedding reception. It was surprising to see an act like Danielle Bradberry play the main stage (with a set made up of mostly covers) while Tyler Farr who has had a very successful year was put on a side stage.
Once again the crowd got noticeably bigger as the afternoon turned into evening. You could actually watch as an endless sea of campers entered the festival grounds one after another. The crowd to enter was so large that for a minute we thought there was an additional stage we had missed.
The finalists in the Boots & Hearts Emerging Artists Showcase presented by SiriusXM Trinity Bradshaw and Ty Baynton performed on the Main Stage giving judges a last chance to be impressed by both of these incredible up and coming young performers, before Trinity Bradshaw was announced as the winner. We are certain you will be hearing from both these artists soon!
Fresh off of setting a Guinness World Record for 10 shows in 10 cities in 24 hours, Hunter Hayes, took to the main stage perform hits such as Somebody’s Heartbreak, I Want Crazy and Wanted.
Blake Shelton closed out the festival with an impressive performance. We were unsure of what to expect from him as we had never seen him live before, but were definitely wowed. He is an incredible performer with enough stage presence and charisma to keep 35,000 people laughing and singing along through his entire set. Shelton was also the only performer of the weekend to introduce some comic relief into his set - at the expense of some audience members, but it was endearing to see his personality shine through on stage, instead of the robotic, rehearsed banter many performers spew out night after night. Blake Shelton was our favourite performer of the weekend – and that’s saying a lot considering Luke Bryan was there (hey, that smile paired with tight jeans is hard to beat!).
All in all the festival was a major success. There is truly something for everyone; if you blink you might miss another attraction. I’m still upset that I didn’t see the “Share a Coke” station where you could personalize your own bottle with less common names. An array of food trucks were scattered throughout the festival grounds, exciting vendors, bull riding, photo opportunities, there were even opportunities to meet and greet many of the artists that were in Fan Fair Village. It did seem that many festival goers didn’t venture over there, choosing to stay at their campsites until just before the headliner, they certainly missed out on everything Boots and Hearts had to offer.
It was obvious that festival organizers have put in a lot of work to try and improve the festival over last year; however, there are still some kinks to be worked out. Lineups getting into the ground will always be an issue when 35,000 people are using a single road to enter into the same place, and understanding this doesn’t make it any less frustrating. Volunteers and security are uninformed which can also be quite frustrating for attendees trying to navigate the festival. Ask three different people the same question and you are sure to get three completely different answers.
-Cell reception – Republic Live arranged for extra cell towers in the area meaning that for a festival of its size with 35,000 people, cell reception was not an issue. Big win.
-Line up! We were left wondering who’s left and how Boots and Hearts will top this year
-People watching – you can’t go wrong when you’ve got thousands of people binge drinking for three days straight, it’s pure entertainment.
-Boots and Hearts app was great for updates
-Lineups: to get in, for food, for attractions, for just about everything.
-Disorganization - extremely frustrating especially when a disconnect between festival staff and an artist’s representatives cause half of the meet and greet winners to miss out on the meet and greet, such was the case with Danielle Bradberry.
-Uninformed Staff – Ask three different people the same question, get three different answers.