First Year Sell Out for Country Thunder AB!

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    Some "insider" tips for gaining the most of your concert experience.

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First Year Sell Out for Country Thunder AB!

Calgary love for Country Thunder AB.

Calgary love for Country Thunder AB.

Due to the overwhelming interest in the inaugural year for Country Thunder Alberta, organizers announced today that the festival has reached capacity and is officially sold out.

“We are so grateful to the people of Calgary for their overwhelming support. Our walk up sales were incredibly strong yesterday, helping to drive our attendance to capacity,” said Kim Blevins, director of marketing. “It is very encouraging to us as organizers of a first year show, to get this amount of support.”

Backstage Experiences are truly the best way to do Country Thunder, AB.

Backstage Experiences are truly the best way to do Country Thunder, AB. Some lucky Western Horse Review readers got to experience just that this weekend.

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Although no additional tickets will be sold to this event, current ticket holders looking to upgrade to the backstage experience, can still do so at the box office at each entry gate.

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Big-and-Rich

Big & Rich gave a thundering performance to kick off the first night of Country Thunder Alberta on Friday, August 19, in front of the gorgeous Calgary skyline. The entire day of entertainment was stellar, from Jess Moskaluke’s electric performance, to the sweet sounds of Chris Young later in the day.

Tim McGraw is one of the headliners at Country Thunder, AB, 2016.

Tim McGraw is one of the headliners at Country Thunder, AB, 2016.

Fans will be treated again tonight with veteran Neal McCoy, showman Phil Vassar, Bobby Wills, Chris Janson, and topping off the evening with superstar Tim McGraw.

Special thanks to Country Thunder’s official charity, the Rotary Club of Calgary South for providing most of the staff for the event.

Special Festival Information

The Child Find is located at the medical tent adjacent to the main entry to Prairie Winds Park. Families can bring their children for a special wristband to help locate them if they happen to get lost in the park.

As the temperature rises, festival organizers are offering a water filling station for patrons to keep people hydrated in the heat. In addition, patrons are allowed to bring in a sealed bottle of water with them to the event.

A Water Station is available...

Water Stations are available in Prairie Winds, to help patrons stay hydrated this weekend.

Country Thunder AB is Here!

Guitars

The debut of Country Thunder Music’s inner city festival in Calgary, Alberta starts tomorrow! Featuring Luke Bryan, Big & Rich, Tim McGraw and many more as they invade Prairie Winds Park in NE Calgary for one unforgettable time, the festival takes place all this weekend (August 19-21, 2016).

In case you’re curious about some “insider” tips for making the most of your Country Thunder Alberta experience, we had the chance to speak with Gerry (one of the concert producers), and he had this to say:

Q. Where is the best concert merch to be found?

Everybody’s tastes are different, so we try to have a nice variety of things. The options are spectacular, really. We have long-sleeved shirts, festival sleeveless shirts featuring the music line ups – and lots of men’s and women’s choices. All the artists will have their own merch too. There are also Country Thunder and Lammle’s tents on site that are tricked out, plus the Boutique of Leathers next door. These would be my hot picks.

Q. Are there ATMs on site? What about food?

Yes, there are ATMs on site. There are lots strategically placed around Prairie Winds Park. There are also coupon booths (places where you buy coupons for food and liquor) covering the park . All food and beverage are purchased by voucher. Adult beverages are very fan friendly – priced at $6. There are spirits and beer available, Palm Bay has 2 flavors on site and we have Bud light Apple. No outside food or beverages are allowed in.

Q. Any advice for finding the porta potty locations with the least chance of a line-up?
We do a ratio to make things comfortable, so people aren’t waiting in line. The same goes with food and beverage, so they’re not waiting in line for long times. We have to have lots of those amenities available for people to facilitate an event this size.

Tim McGraw is one of the headliners at Country Thunder, AB, 2016.

Tim McGraw is one of the headliners at Country Thunder, AB, 2016.

Q. Best place to be for a chance celebrity siting?

They typically don’t walk out in the general population, but they have been known to pop into our hospitality tents! As a rule, artists are in their dressing rooms before they go out. But it’s also possible to spot them at a hotel beforehand.

Q. Best way to beat the heat? (Or beat the rain?)
Stay well hydrated. There are lots of water and drinks available on site. There are also lots of treed areas to catch shade. Bring sunscreen and bug spray. Also appropriate clothing for later in the evening, if it becomes cool.

Q. Aside from the concerts, are there any other specialty acts happening?
The Country 105 stage will offer a real nice variety of local artists. This includes the Dungarees (from Edmonton, AB, who have opened up for Miranda Lambert). They will be playing twice on Sunday. There’s also a line dancing group doing a variety of things on site around both stages. There are a number of games that Budweiser will be doing, same with Country 105.

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Q. Are there any upgrade packages available once you’re already on the ground?
If you want to upgrade your experience, you have to do that before you enter our venue. Check out our website for more info at: www.countrythunder.com

Upgrading to the Backstage Experience is really the right way to see this show. Plus you get parking near the site. The value of this festival is excellent and great for the market.

Q. On the topic of parking, any suggestions?
We have very limited for parking for this festival. So the best way is via shuttles from Cowboys, or taxi delivery. Or the LRT is an efficient and safe method of transportation without the mayhem of bringing you car. Or if you’re riding your bike down, AMA @albertamotorassociation has roadside assistance for your bike!

“We are sure excited to be able to be bringing this great venue to Calgary and it’s certain to be an excellent time!” – Gerry

 

Two-Time Champ Returns to Action

Jake-Vold-DawsonCreekStampede2016-Mike_Copeman_copyright

A trip north for reigning Canadian bareback champion, Jake Vold turned into an early wedding present. The 29-year-old, who will marry Sara Rutley in Ponoka, Alberta, on Saturday, has an extra $3,268 to put towards the cost of the nuptials thanks to a pair of high-marked rides in La Crete, Alberta and Dawson Creek, BC.

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“Before I came back, I kind of had a number in mind I wanted to reach during the weekend,” suggests Vold, whose appearance at the Field of Dreams Stampede in La Crete marked the first time back on a bucking horse since July 10th. “I came darn close to it so I can’t complain, definitely very happy.”

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Vold began his comeback from a handful of separated, cracked and fractured ribs suffered during the Ponoka Stampede, with an 85-point ride on Outlaw Buckers’ Hot Bananas on August 9th to win the La Crete stop.

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“Sport Medicine told me to take a month off and it was 31 days, not that I was counting,” offers the two-time Canadian champ. “I got on that horse ten years ago in the practice pen at a jackpot. She’s just a nice, solid horse. She tested them (ribs) a bit but I knew she wasn’t going to come uncorked or anything.”

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Four days later, Vold capped off the week with an 83-point marking on Kesler’s Alley Drift in Dawson Creek for a three way split of top spot.

“That’s one to watch out for I think,” proclaims Vold, who also won $5,732 for an 87-point ride that topped the Farm-City Pro Rodeo in Hermiston, Oregon in between the two Canadian stops. “I just stuck to my game plan of keeping it simple.”

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“The injury really put a damper on the season I was hoping to have. I needed to get back going to try to get to the finals near the top of the pack and I needed to get my count in as well. Any time you’re sitting at home, you’re not making money.”

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Logan Bird is having an August to remember. His hot streak continued with a $3,071 payday from La Crete and Dawson Creek. The Nanton, Alberta, roper has won $6,353 so far this month.

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“I’ve placed at every rodeo since Morris (Manitoba Stampede) except for Bruce (Stampede),” confides the 22-year-old, who is now 2nd in the Canadian standings behind two-time Canadian champ, Shane Hanchey. “After about Strathmore, my goals changed from making the CFR to winning season
leader.”

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The seven-time Alberta High School Rodeo champion placed 5th in La Crete with a 9.2-second run and then split top spot at the Dawson Creek Stampede with a 9-second trip.

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“I had probably one of the best calves in the pen,” says Bird of his Dawson Creek draw. “I just tried to make sure I didn’t break the barrier and that I caught him.”

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Other top money winners from the final two stops on the so-called “North Run” were barrel racer, Braidy Howes ($3,266); bareback rider, Cole Goodine ($2,132); steer wrestlers, Scott Guenthner ($3,129) and Cody Cassidy ($2,872); saddle bronc riders, Chuck Schmidt ($2,580) and Layton Green
($2,448); bullrider, Scott Schiffner ($2,121); tie-down roper, Virgil Poffenroth ($2,270); team ropers, Klay White/Brett Buss ($1,805 each); novice saddle bronc rider, Dawson Hay ($1,033) and novice bareback rider, Tanner Young ($1,058).

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Next on the Pro Rodeo Canada schedule is the Jasper Heritage Rodeo in Jasper, Alberta (Aug. 17-20), the Pincher Creek Pro Rodeo in Pincher Creek, Alberta (Aug. 19-21) and the Cranbrook Pro Rodeo in Cranbrook, BC (Aug.19-21).

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