She's Gone Country was thrilled to attend the inaugural CMT Music Fest at Bingeman's in Kitchener over the weekend of July 8-9th! The lineup was stellar with likes of the Brothers Osborne, Kip Moore, Eric Church, Tom Cochrane, Kira Isabella, Them Dang Rattlers, Leah Daniels, Drake White, The Washboard Union, Cold Creek County, The Road Hammers, Zac Brown Band and more on the billing. Special guests included Property Brothers’ Drew and Jonathan Scott, Master of Flip’s Kortney and Dave Wilson, Billy Bretherton of Billy Goes North, Entertainment Tonight Canada’s Cheryl Hickey and CMT’s Paul McGuire who hosted the two day festival.
The festival grounds were set in the valley of Bingeman's - quite a breathtaking view from the top! Upon arriving we were a little concerned that we didn't have it in us to make it down and then back up the hill - but we did it!!
With the drama from Friday over* [see below for more information], Saturday went off without a hitch! We loved CMT Music Fest's laid back atmosphere - seriously, this festival is chill and intimate. There were plenty of bars and two stages set up, the Main Stage and the Maple Leaf Stage, and the crowds were pretty evenly dispersed between the two stages. CMT Music Fest had volleyball nets and cornhole games set up, which really added to the laid back atmosphere.
We LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the Market Lane set up. It was country, kitchsy and cute, with white twinkle lights set up in the trees along market lane, so simple but so effective in setting the mood, A+! Market Lane included some yummy food and pop up shops - lifestyle, clothing and jewelry - very gypsy!! Also included in Market Lane was CMT Music Fest's official merchandise booth.
The festival had a free photo booth complete with props and a professional photographer set up - what a cool FREE memento to take home! The photos were immediately sent via text to your cell phone. It's rare to find an activity so fun for FREE...did we mention that was free?? Thanks CMT Music Fest!!
Other activities included a W Network Bachelorette tent where free make-up touch ups were given to the ladies. Now this is an awesome idea! Spending all day at a music festival might be a lot of fun, but I speak from first hand experience when I say it seems the more fun you have, the more smudged your makeup and messy your hair gets. Touch ups are definitely appreciated! They also offered cold, fruit infused water......a very relaxing retreat!
Schick was on hand giving out freebies, HGTV and Food Network Canada were also on site with experiences and activities for the crowd.
Now...onto the music....Cold Creek County rocked it out. They definitely stole the show on Saturday. #ShesGoneCountryAPPROVED. We can't wait to catch another one of their shows - seriously, you won't be disappointed! They did some original songs and some fun covers - the set was mixed with something for everyone!
Tom Cochrane opened for Zac Brown Band, and it was great to see some more homegrown talent on the main stage. It's been a while since we've heard from Tom Cochrane but he had everyone at Bingeman's jamming to Life is a Highway and some newer tunes!
Zac Brown Band closed out the festival on Saturday and they brought all their hits with them. Seriously. They have a lot of hits. They played a 25-song-set and had the crowd rocking out. Homegrown, Chicken Fried, Sweet Annie, Colder Weather, Toes, Beautiful Drug, Keep Me in Mind, Loving You Easy, As She's Walking Away - are just a few of the hits they played. They did a few awesome covers too!! Nathaniel Rateliff's SOB, The Who's Baba O'Riley, Don't Let Me Down - the Chainsmokers, Prince's Let's Go Crazy and Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody.
We'd be remiss if we didn't mention the events of the first day - it's unfortunate that with such a stellar lineup and great atmosphere, event planners just can't control mother nature. While the festival kicked off on Friday, July 8th, many festival goers didn't get a chance to catch any of the sets that night. Rain and lightening interfered to the point of the night being postponed and eventually canceled before Kip Moore and Eric Church ever got a chance to take the stage. While disappointing, this decision was not made lightly and was made with the safety of everyone involved in mind.
Organizers were quick to update social media pages and the website to let everyone know that refunds would be made for those that needed one, and all "Friday only" wristbands would be honored on Saturday.
Check out some of our favourite pictures below!!
For more photos from CMT Music Fest Click READ MORE below