Country Thunder Festival offers impressive lineup for country fans

This Florence festival presents four days of country hits, from new acts to international stars


Courtesy of Nicole Zeller/PLA Media

Phil Vassar (pictured above) will be one of many performers at a star-studded Country Thunder Festival.

Kara Brown, Reporter

Country Thunder Music Festival is a four-day long, semi-annual event filled with an impressive 20-act lineup.

The lineup features some of today’s hottest names and fastest-rising country artists such Clare Dunn, Love and Theft, Logan Mize, Joe Nichols, Old Dominion, Phil Vassar and the Swon Brothers, as well as headliners Big and Rich, Luke Bryan, Brett Eldredge and Blake Shelton.

The festival will take place from April 9-15 at a desert camping ground just north of Tucson.

Although the concerts are open to all ages, it is a popular scene for college students throughout the state. The campsite is located in Florence, Arizona, centrally between Phoenix and Tucson, making it easy for both Arizona State University students as well as students from the University of Arizona to attend.

The campsite is just off of Price Road, east of Florence. The noted address is Country Thunder West. 20585 E. Price (Station) Road. Florence, Arizona 85132.

Returning artist Vassar is excited to take the stage once again in Florence.

“Only in Arizona can you start playing outside in April, where it’s just you, the music, and nothing but desert surrounding you,” the singer said.

Country Thunder is not only targeted for born-and-raised country folks. It offers a variety of unique and tasteful music as well. From heartbreak songs to good ole times, the lineup covers it all.

Bri Arrieta, a student at SCC, will attend the music festival. She said she is eager to experience the fun and friendly atmosphere that the festival provides.

“I’ve never been a big fan of country music, but the blissful vibes that the audience seems to get is something I am really looking forward to,” said Arrieta.

Not only are the fans excited for the memories that will be made, but the various artists that will be performing on stage are, too. Country Thunder is known for its care-free, wild spirit atmosphere. The festival allows attendees to forget about their busy work-filled lives, and to just enjoy themselves and each other’s company in the middle of the Arizona desert.

“I live right around all these artists, but the only time we get to see each other is when we are all performing at the same place. It’s a great opportunity to catch up with old friends,” Vassar said.

Along with the returning artists come the new faces of Country Thunder. Clare Dunn is thrilled to be apart of such a widely-known festival this year.

“I’m just so excited and thrilled for the opportunity to get to play because it is such an honor to be invited as an artist,” the Colorado-born singer said.

This year, Country Thunder is celebrating its 23rd anniversary. Its brand is credited to Troy Vollhoffer, the man behind the festivals. Today, it’s  known as one of the greatest country music festivals in the nation.

“It’s got to be the best music festival out there,” Logan Mize said. “Everyone is so friendly and talented. Even as an artist, I am really stoked about this year’s lineup.”

The privately-owned company’s press is managed by Webster Public Relations, stationed in Nashville, Tennessee. Local country radio station KMLE Country 107.9 has been in partnership with Country Thunder, where social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have all promoted the event through public accounts. Text updates are offered by texting ARIZONA to 44662 for more information.

Tickets for the country music festival are still available on Country Thunder’s website. The company offers campsites; 4-day general admission passes at a price of $190.00. They also offer general passes for single days, priced at $75.00 per day.