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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Arizona’s largest country music festival brings the Thunder this weekend

    Camping. Whiskey. The industry’s best country acts. Whiskey. Cheap beer. A smorgasbord of food vendors. Waterslides. Cheap beer.

    If this sounds like nirvana, then Country Thunder should be the event on your mind. Arizona’s largest country music festival is taking over Florence this weekend.

    Country Thunder is known for its amazing lineups year after year, and 2012 will be no different. The list of acts reads like a who’s who of the modern country scene: Big and Rich, Blake Shelton, The Band Perry, Jake Owen, Alan Jackson and Dierks Bentley, not to mention a slew of supporting acts. Twenty-two country artists in four days? Slather on the sunscreen, take some shots and prepare to lose your voice.

    While we’re ushering in festival season with the eponymous Coachella Valley behemoth, Country Thunder should serve as the blue collar antithesis to most of spring and summer’s musical events. Demographically, Country Thunder serves as a slice of Arizona’s rabid country fan base with fans from all walks attending.

    The collegiate draw should be the festival’s party-ready atmosphere — slightly intoxicated, somewhat salacious and completely fun. This is far from a hipster’s paradise and even farther from the pretentious nature that’s packaged with it.

    2012 also marks the introduction of Electronic Thunder, a country DJ event that’s more moonshine than MDMA. Electronic Thunder brings a much-needed dance floor to the festival, and is sure to add a more intimate and carefree element to a festival already known for its lackadaisical attitude.

    Whether it ends up being a roll in the hay or a romp in the mud has yet to be determined, but one thing’s for sure — Country Thunder is one of the biggest summer festivals that Arizona’s treated to. From the food to the attractions, Country Thunder is set to please all of its patrons’ needs and wishes.

    Bound to be so much more than a whiskey-soaked mechanical bull ride, Country Thunder is like country music’s spring break, trading tribal tattoos and party boats for 10-gallon hats and RVs.

    On Twitter via @WildcatArts

    Get real-time Country Thunder event coverage all weekend.

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