Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Boots & Hearts

Long time no see!

So in the midst of all my friends going to Digital Dreams and VELD and all these EDM festivals, guess which one I went to?

A country music one, of course!

Boots and Hearts is a pretty new music festival in Canada celebrating country music. It's a three-day fest that offers campgrounds for you to stay on so you don't have to make trips back and forth from Bowmanville, which is a bit of a drive, especially if you're from the city like my friend and I were.

This year they had some really impressive big-name artists on their weekend lineup. Last year's roster was pretty darn solid (with names like Carrie Underwood and Tim McGraw) but this year saw the arrival of country super stars Jason Aldean, Rascal Flatts, The Band Perry, and the one and only (and this blogger's personal favourite) Miranda Lambert! Even supporting acts like Dierks Bentley, Dean Brody, and Aaron Lewis are no small time newbies to country fans.

So my friend and I got there Sunday afternoon around 3-4 pm, at the sunny peak of the beautiful day (though it did get pretty chilly as the day went on. Brr! I tried to buy a sweater but alas, they were all sold out. It would figure, I imagine the rest of the weekend before also got pretty nippy at night!) Music was blaring, crushed beer cans and hay were everywhere (ah, that country charm ;)) and there were TONS of people. I was genuinely surprised at the turnout, though I don't know why I was. It was also kind of funny noticing that, while there were definitely a lot of "redneck"y people there, there were also quite a few that I would classify more as the EDM-concert types, decked out in neon colours and looking like they made a false turn and ended up at the wrong festival but decided to make the best of it anyway xD

We had a good time walking around checking out all the different booths they had set up. There were even a couple amusement park rides set up that really added some cool visual depth to the layout of the grounds. The festival also had multiple stages set up, the main one for bigger acts and smaller ones off to the side for more up-and-coming groups. A good excuse to walk around, and a guarantee that you'd find music wherever you went! The food stands were also understandably tempting, with the sinfully delicious aromas of sizzling BBQ and fried food wafting from the line of different vendors - all with their own 20+ man lines waiting to order. My friend and I opted for Mexican food, and even though I was disappointed they ran out of nachos my fish taco was quite tasty and made up for it. We also got an onion blossom because why the heck not, right?

So after some amusing encounters with several drunk people, nearly losing $60 to an ATM, and much walking and basking, we made it to the growing crowd of people gathering in front of the main stage for the act of the night - my woman crush, Miranda Lambert. And boy, did she not disappoint. Words can't express how ecstatic I was, and how amazing she was. While her songs were kickass as always, one of my favourite things about Miranda is the message she sends not only through her music but in her being. About a half dozen songs in she took a minute to speak to the crowd about individuality and always striving for more. "I'm looking in the crowd and I'm seeing all different kinds of people out there. White people, black people, everything in between, tall people, short people, big people, small people. If I can be up here living my dream, you can do whatever you want to do, because it takes all kinds of crazy people to make this world go around." Then she introduced her latest single, which happened to be one of my favourite tracks from her latest album, which everyone should take a second to check out because it's really a great song. Click the bottom picture to listen!

Suffice to say, I had a great time! My experience was overall very positive, though I have heard on the grapevine that the festival COULD use a little more organization to better control the rowdy drinking and driving and campground logistics. Hopefully they take these concerns and improve on it next year because I'm definitely going back and want to have a good, safe time! I only went for the Sunday lineup this time around because Miranda was headlining, and I bought my ticket pretty late so it was pretty expensive on its own anyway. Next year, however, I'm definitely going for the full weekend. And I'm bringing more people with me, 'cause doggone it it's a party and what's a party without friends? :)

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