Country Thunder 2021


Ava Padelford, Co-Editor

There is nothing more exciting than some good ole, loud, true country music, some good dancing, and being with your very best friends all at a country festival. This year’s Country Thunder has been delayed many times and took two years to happen, due to the covid delay, but it was a success with a record breaking crowd on October 16th.

I got to attend this thrilling festival with my dad and my best friend, Alexa. It was a birthday present for my 16th birthday back in February and it was so worth the wait. We got to Country Thunder at 1:00pm as soon as they opened the doors and were only going that Saturday specifically to see Luke Combs.


After parking, we walked a good mile in our boots to the actual festival and there were very few people there in the beginning. There were little shops around the very outside area of the festival selling shirts, glasses, random items and drinks. I got some of the very best sweet tea I’ve ever tried and then we went in and walked all around the festival.


After getting a good look around, we found the best spot in the house and threw our stuff in the dirt and sat down for a while. We brought our lawn chairs and met some very interesting people throughout our time. I strongly recommend bringing lawn chairs if you have never been. They save your spot when all of the crazy rednecks come up for the main show and try to stand right where you are.


Drew Parker started the show at 2:00pm and it was a great show! There were 6 performers including Dallas Smith, Parmalee, Parker McCollum, Ashley McBryde and Luke Combs. 


My favorite was definitely Luke Combs. He was the first country singer I really got into and I knew all of the songs he played. It was so exciting to be able to scream the words to every song and swing dance with my dad and best friend.


The people at the concert were all very interesting and funny to watch. Some were absolutely crazy and put on a whole show aside from the concert. One guy who was in front of us danced with at least 20 different girls and was pretty good at two steps. He definitely inspired our group to try and follow his lead and join in on the fun. My dad and I were dancing partners and people all around us started dancing too. 


The music was great and the sound system was loud and boomin! Every singer there had a pretty great set of songs and the bands were outstanding. I loved healing all of the guitar solos and the loud drums. I truly believe most people would enjoy Country Thunder, even if they aren’t into country music. 



One problem was having to go to the bathroom. You definitely needed a friend to get to the porta potties and back to find your spot again. There were 50,000 people there and we were up in the front. Alexa and I had to walk in the dark through all of these people just to finally make it to the bathroom, which had massive lines full of impatient people. Walking back was even harder than walking to the bathroom. We walked back holding each other’s hand to make sure the other wouldn’t get lost. It took a while to find our spot but once we saw our bright red lawn chairs, we knew we were all good. 


Country Thunder has great food to offer and tons of fun drinks. We got fried chicken and fries for dinner and it was amazing, other than the fact that the fries lacked salt. Everything is spaced out within the festival making the walk to get food quite somewhat far from the stage. We definitely walked off all that chicken though!

Something to note is leaving Country Thunder. There are so many people and everyone is eager to get home or get to their hotels. We had reservations at a hotel and we were trying to rush over there. It was 12:30 am after we walked the long dirt and rock road back to our car. My throat hurt from all of the screaming and fun I was having, along with all of the dirt in the air. We backed out of our parking spot and waited in the parking lot for 2 hours. Alexa and I fell asleep and my poor dad just waited there with zero movement of traffic. We were on the freeway around 3am and decided to just go home because we didn’t want to check into the hotel that late and then have to leave early. 


Other than the bathroom experiences and the leaving situation, I had an amazing time and would go every year if I could. I am extremely thankful for this experience. I will forever cherish the memories I made at the festival and the good times I had with Alexa and my dad.