Get ready to let your inner cowboy shine at Lakeside Ashland’s very first music festival. The Midwest Country Fest is from 3-10 p.m. Aug. 19-20 and will showcase 10 artists with Granger Smith, featuring Earl Dibbles Jr., as the headliner. Nic Parks, owner of Lakeside Ashland, says the venue was actually built for concerts and festivals, not just outdoor movie nights, which have been a popular use of the new facility. “The lawn is built to have standing room for 10,000 people,” he says. “And we think country music is a really good fit.”
This family-friendly festival will not only have live country music, but there also will be a playground, mechanical bull, vendors, draft beer trailers, frozen slushies and many more activities available to make the event truly memorable. “Our restaurant can serve up to 1,000 people and we serve burgers, pizza, fried food and more,” Parks says. “We estimate about 3,000 people at the festival, so we may invite a few food trucks to serve in addition to our food to accommodate the large crowd.” No outside food or drink will be allowed during the festival.
Along with the activities, attending the festival could be the last chance to see Granger Smith live on stage since “this is his farewell tour,” Parks says. Smith announced in spring his plans to step away from country music in order to pursue ministry.
While dancing will be heartily encouraged, there are sure to be times when you need a rest, so Lakeside encourages bringing chairs or a blanket as there is no actual seating available at the venue.
For folks driving in, there will be a limited opportunity to buy parking passes for the festival, but there also will be several shuttle options available. You can buy a one or two-day pass for the event, but prices do vary depending on the type of ticket purchased. “The musicians will perform from 3-10 p.m. both days,” Parks says.
On Aug. 19, there will be five artists performing, including headliner Granger Smith featuring Earl Dibbles Jr., Travis Denning, Avery Anna, David Morris and Braxton Keith. On Aug. 20, enjoy Tenille Arts, Kidd G, Bryan Martin, Sean Stemaly and Matt Jordan.
So, grab your boots, hat and anything else to get you in a country mood, and get ready to get down in the dirt and dance until you just can’t anymore!