FORT LORAMIE — Country music fans will converge on Hickory Hills Lakes in Fort Loramie this weekend, as the 38th Country Concert takes place. The fun began Thursday and continues today and Saturday.
“We’re going to have a record 34 performers here this year, which is more than the first three years combined,” said Paul Barhorst, general manager of Country Concert.
The entertainers are hand picked by the fans, thanks to Barhorst’s parents.
“Who better to ask? That’s one thing our parents decided early was we wanted to have who the people wanted to see the most. They started the survey and started at the top. It also helps us to know that we need to have guys like Luke Combs who is one of the hottest, young superstars around, Kane Brown, these are all highly requested people this year for the show,” said Barhorst.
The fans and their passion for country music draw the most successful stars.
“Well, with it being our 38th year, we have a very great reputation in Nashville as being a great place to play. For instance, this will be our sixth time that we’ve had Toby Keith, but the first time since 2007. But when we make an offer for Toby Keith, he knows that Fort Loramie is going to be a great place to play with an enthusiastic audience. Eric Church, for example, is only playing about 17 shows this summer, and one of them is Fort Loramie, so that’s quite a compliment in itself,” said Barhorst. “We wouldn’t be able to do it without everyone who attends and makes it happen.”
Barhorst and his Country Concert team have added a third stage this year, the Home Grown Honky Tonk Stage.
“What we did was we invited some emerging artists with regional connections. There is so much talent out there. The Home Grown Honky Tonk stage is going to feature local and regional acts that have recorded their own music and are trying to establish their own music career,” said Barhorst.
Barhorst expects between 15,000 to 20,000 per night.
“We’re going to have people from at least 46 states and six different countries here at Country Concert this year,” said Barhorst.
With the large mass of people, Barhorst expects very little problems.
“We have minimal problems really overall. With the number of people that we have, we have very few issues. People have spent their hard-earned money to come and they don’t want to lose their ticket so they end up behaving and if someone’s fun starts to interrupt, then they’ll be talked to, but overall people are here to have fun,” said Barhorst.
Reach Merri Hanjora at 567-242-0511.