Tag Archives: country music festival

Winstock weekend

10 Jun

Summer season officially kicked off this weekend. Not in terms of the weather, however. BUT, the first country music festival near the Twin Cities – Winstock, happened, officially kicking off summer outdoor concerts.

This year was the first time in Winstock’s history that they completely sold out of tickets AND camping – VIP, reserved, general admission – everything. Lucky for me, I know someone who knows someone to get tickets to attend. Ā A few years prior, I was working at Winstock – and it was an unreal site seeing so many people (over 21,000!!) cram into a small, open field in the middle of Minnesota.

This was also the biggest ticket Winstock has ever had, in terms of their lineup. Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert headlined the festival on Friday night, with Kip Moore and Luke Bryan closing down the grounds on Saturday night. I didn’t get a chance to attend on Saturday night, but Friday night was well worth the two-hour trip. The thing I love most about festivals is there’s not really any down time between artists; once a main stage artist has finished their set, another artist starts their set at the back of the grounds at the emerging artists stage. The emerging artists stage is generally reserved for those with only one song on the radio or local bands trying to make it big.

We saw Charlie Worsham rock out for a 30-minute set shortly after we arrived – and got to see this guy working hard, giving a stage intro!

Pat at Winstock


Charlie currently has one single out on the radio right now called “Could It Be.” He took a chance during one of the choruses to put the mic in the audience’s direction to see if anyone would sing along with him; the crowd surprised him with a convincing rendition of his own song – so much so, he nearly forgot to sing the rest of the song! Talk about a cool moment to witness: an artist seeing the audience sing their own song back to them for the first time EVER.

Miranda Lambert performed in the lineup for the spot that should have been the Pistol Annies; the group, for whatever reason, backed out last minute. She honored the commitment she had made and came with her “normal” sassy-pants on. Another thing I love about festivals is since each artist has only about one hour to perform on stage, their set list is pretty much what would be on their greatest hits album – with very limited slow songs included. While Dierks Bentley is one of my favorites to see in concert, he was a little – shall we say – sloppy (?) for his set, you could tell that he was having a blast, and in turn, the crowd did too. I saw Dierks perform at Winstock a few years back when there was no more than 10,000 or 11,000 people; he kept commenting on how awesome it was to see a sea of people that large on the Winstock grounds. I couldn’t agree more.


I’d say this weekend was a success; a perfect kick off to summer concert season. Good company, accompanying good music on a cool summer night? Couldn’t have been better.