The 2015 Taste of Country Music Festival promises performances by Keith Urban, Tim McGraw and nearly two dozen other top country performers. But the artists are just one of many reasons to make this festival your choice for next June. Here are the 10 best things about the Taste of Country Music Festival, set for June 12-14, 2015!
In 2014, Dierks Bentley, Brantley Gilbert and Brad Paisley were headliners, and 2015 is going to be even better. McGraw and Urban are signed up to throw down in the mountains in June. Trust us when we say there's plenty of space for even more top country talent ...
The stage is cradled by the Catskills Mountains of central New York (two hours from New York City), creating a breathtaking atmosphere for fans and artists alike. "I walked out and I literally -- when I walked around that corner with a guitar it literally took my breath," Randy Houser recalls of his 2014 experience. "The way that venue sits, it's like they're sitting on top of you." Hunter Mountain is a skiing destination six months out of the year. The stage sits at the bottom of the slope, and the fans work up the hill.
The Second Stage
A second indoor stage keeps the music going between acts and when the main stage shuts down for the night. Jessica Lynn played until almost 1AM one night. ‘The Voice’ contestant Gwen Sebastian is another artist who sat down for a more intimate set. The Bud Light stage is one of the hidden jewels of the Taste of Country Music Festival -- a jewel you won't want to miss.
The Country Girls ...
By mid-June, the temperature in central New York is plenty hot enough to encourage a country girl to bust out the short shorts and cowgirl boots. Tight tanks, mud-splattered bluejeans and even bikini tops are amongst the regular sightings at Hunter Mountain. But don't worry, ladies, there is something for everyone ...
... And the Country Boys
The fellas do alright, too. A few guys rock a traditional cowboy look, while many others are eager to show off a gym-toned body they've been sculpting since winter started. Hey, the music stops on occasion so crews can load in gear. We promise there's always something to look at.
The Towns Around Hunter N.Y.
Even though 25,000 people flood their city every June, the small town of Hunter, N.Y. remains as charming as any getaway retreat in America. There are plenty of local shops and restaurants if you need to break away from the festival for an hour or three. Local hotels provide comfort for anyone not wanting to camp, and if you need to hit up the Walmart, there's one of those within driving distance, as well.
The Campground Parties
Things get a little crazy after hours. Unlike many festivals where the camping is spread across miles of lifeless fields, the camping at ToC Fest is all onsite and within walking distance to the stage. Tent campers, car campers and RV campers are all welcome! What can we say, we're awesome.
Every year a few artists ask to mingle with fans in the parking lot or at the campground. Dustin Lynch took a tour in 2013, and others followed in 2014. There are also plenty of meet and greet opportunities if you want an official pic. But keep a close eye on that guy next to you in line for a cheeseburger ... he could end up on stage an hour later.
There's a lot more to the Taste of Country Music Festival than camping and loud and rowdy country music. The food and onsite children's activities -- there's a petting zoo -- make this a party everyone in the family will appreciate.