ARIZONA NEWS

Country Thunder music festival to kick off in Arizona on Thursday

Apr 5, 2018, 4:35 AM | Updated: 8:46 am
(AP File Photo; Facebook Photo)...
(AP File Photo; Facebook Photo)
(AP File Photo; Facebook Photo)

PHOENIX — Get ready, country music fans: The Country Thunder music festival will be rolling through Arizona this weekend.

Country Thunder, an annual music festival that takes place in Florence, Arizona, kicks off on Thursday and continues through Sunday.

Gerry Krochak, the director of marketing and media relations for Country Thunder, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Chad Benson that this year’s lineup is a “good” and “diverse” one with lots of up-and-comers as well as big names.

The country band A Boy Named Sioux will kick off the musical festivities at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday and superstar Luke Bryan will wrap up the four-day festival at 9 p.m. on Sunday.

Alongside Bryan, other well-known acts will include Cole Swindell, Jason Aldean, Big and Rich and Toby Keith.

“Saturday looks to be a lot of fun,” Krochak said.

Arizona’s own Dierks Bentley, Blake Shelton and Thomas Rhett were among the acts at last year’s festival.

But music will not be the only thing on display at the festival: Krochak said there will also be lots of fun games — including a human slingshot — a country swing dance competition and food to fuel up on.

“It’s called a festival, it’s not about just the music,” he said.

For those who are already planning on going, be prepared for the warm weather.

According to the Weather Channel, Florence will see highs between 90 and 93 degrees this weekend and overnight lows in the low- to mid-60s.

And if you were still looking to score some tickets, you might be out of luck.

Krochak said all the camping spots were sold out, but single-day tickets can be purchased online for $75 each or through Walgreens for a discounted price. Four-day general admission tickets were also available online for $190.

Since last year’s mass shooting at the Route 91 music festival in Las Vegas, organizers of large music festivals have had to balance guest experience with guest safety.

Aldean was also on stage when a gunman started opened fire on 22,000 concertgoers from a room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, killing 58 people and injuring at least 489 more in the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.

But Krochak said extra security measures have been put in place to ensure that guests are as safe as possible while not hindering their experience.

Some of the security measures include a clear bag policy, which has been standard for most sporting events in Arizona, and metal wanding in certain areas of the festival.

“Fan safety is first and foremost our No. 1 priority,” he said. “Those policies are aimed at making sure people have a safe and fun time.”

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Country Thunder music festival to kick off in Arizona on Thursday