BROWNSVILLE, Ore. — The stage is set and ready for this weekend’s Bi-Mart Willamette Country Music Festival.
Crowds were outside lining up since early Friday morning. They say they didn’t want to miss this chance to see some of their favorite country stars.
“We have been here since quarter till seven this morning because Sugarland is on tonight and they are my all time favorite so we’re pretty excited,” said Alicia Speidel.
She’s not alone, dozens lined up bright and early to make sure they got the best seats available.
“I came here about 6:15 a.m. to get in line to get a good seat,” said Linda Cox.
“I want to get my wristband so we can get good seats for that great concert,” said David Bergstresser.
Fifteen thousand fans are expected to walk through the gates each day.
Some say it’s the music that brings them out, like this weekend’s headliners Sugarland, Martina McBride and Trace Adkins.
“Right at the top of my list though is Billy Currington, and then Trace Adkins and Sugarland and you name it, everybody there, I can’t think of anybody I’m not excited to see,” said Libby Darnall.
“I’m more here for the music and just the fun times, I love country, country music, so if you’re a country music fan, this is it,” said Alicia Mace.
Others enjoy the whole atmosphere, the music, camping, food and the good company.
“All of it, hanging out with family and friends and then being able to go in and out for the music,” said Tina Westling.
“It’s the whole country feel, it’s country music, in the country, it’s just a lot of fun,” said Wendy Landers.
There’s also plenty of changes this year throughout the entire festival.
“We’ve made the venue bigger, it’s 1,000 feet wide by 850 feet deep, we’ve added big jumbotron screens so everybody can see, a bigger stage, better sounds system,” said Director of Advertising for Bi-Mart Don Laber.
There’s also a larger kids zone, bigger VIP area, and perhaps most importantly in these hot temperatures, plenty of water stations, shade, and even an on-site medical center.
“We’ve got cots available for people if they need to hydrate, the idea is we can take care of people here on site and not have to transport them,” Laber said.
Event organizers say a portion of the proceeds will go to local charities in the Mid-Willamette Valley.
There are still some tickets available. You can pick those up onsite at the gate for $85, or at any Bi-Mart for $75.