August 10-12 this summer the 1st annual Boots and Hearts Music Festival hit the stage north of Bowmanville, Ontario. And ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you this – it was awesome!
I was lucky enough to be on site with a press pass for a concert that I’d been drooling over since the day it was announced in the winter.
In fact, I’m not sure lucky is a big enough word to cover it. Take a look at the line-up:
Friday, August 10: Charlie Major, High Valley, Jason McCoy, Kevin Costner & Modern West, Big & Rich AND Tim McGraw!
Saturday, August 11: Shane Yellowbird, Dallas Smith, Phil Vasser, Sheryl Crow, Alabama AND Kid Rock!
Sunday, August 12: Canaan Smith, Lauren Alaina, Gord Downie & The Sadies, Terri Clark, Paul Brandt, Lionel Richie AND Carrie Underwood!
Acts in bold are known (or will soon be known) for their country music chops and names in italics are less country and more pop/rock. It’s a HUGE line-up. One that has no fewer than 10 acts that could headline some sort of show on their own and draw a significant audience.
I had seen Jason McCoy with The Road Hammers, Terri Clark opening for Brad Paisley and had caught Gord Downie with The Tragically Hip last summer. Everyone one else on the bill was new to me.
They were all pretty friggin’ great!
Note: Gord Downie is weird on stage.
While it’s difficult for me to rank the performances I can tell you that Terri Clark and Paul Brandt hold a special place in my CanCon Country heart, Sheryl Crow is a legend and was awesome, Lionel Richie played the hits and had the crowd in the palm of his hands – and Alabama were Hall-of-Fame-Amazing and blew my mind.
Outside of the artists I have to tip my hat to:
- Rannie for the ride and hangouts
- The Mechanical Bull operator for keeping me on for 12 seconds (I actually rode the bull for 12 full seconds. My first ride ever)
- The St. John’s Ambulance folks for fixing me up after my bull ride
- Sara for enjoying the music with me
- The Vitamin Water kids for keeping us hydrated with free drinks
- The BBQ/Burrito cooks for feeding us
- My mom for giving Rannie and I somewhere to sleep
- Ford for the truck
- The High Road & Boots and Hearts teams for their hospitality
- Mother Nature for a sunny Sunday
- And the rest of the crowd for being really great to be at a weekend music festival with.