FORT LORAMIE – The rain cleared up just in time for the first performances of the day on the second day of the sold-out Country Concert 22 on Friday, July 8 at Hickory Hill Lakes in Fort Loramie.
The headliner for Friday night is Country Music Hall of Famers Brooks & Dunn, making their appearance at Country Concert for the first time in 17 years and their fifth overall. Diamond Rio, Gabby Barrett and Cody Johnson all performed before Brooks & Dunn on the main stage, and the USA Karaoke Finals, Priscilla Block, Blanco Brown and Callista Clark were on the saloon stage.
The Homegrown Honky Tonk stage hosted three Ohio natives, including Zach Rosenbeck from Mercer County, Dan Alley from Cincinnati, and Sean Williams from northwest Ohio. The latter two have hit singles and started performing at an early age.
Shelby Wells, of Hamilton, took first place in the USA Karaoke Finals and won $250 and a performance on the main stage Friday night before Cody Johnson. She was one of six finalists that were initially chosen out of 40 contestants at the Get the Gig Karaoke Contest Semi-Finals at J.D. Legends in Franklin. Each of the finalists received free tickets for Friday’s general admission to Country Concert.
Autumn Seabright, of Newark, took third place in the competition. This was her first year coming to Country Concert, and she said she enjoyed being on stage and is looking forward to seeing the rest of the artists perform throughout the night.
“I loved it, and everybody was phenomenal, and it was great to just look out and be like, ‘Wow. We’re all doing it. We’re all out here today to do it,” Seabright said. “Unfortunately, I missed Carrie Underwood – she’s my idol – so I wanted to see her, but I’m excited to see everybody tonight.”
Debra Cox — originally from Dayton, now living in Texas — was also attending Country Concert for the first time with her kids. She was afraid to come at first because she didn’t know what to expect, but she felt welcomed so far and said the atmosphere is her favorite part of the concert.
“The only thing my son asked for his birthday was to come here. It’s been amazing — everyone’s been so accommodating,” Cox said.
Sue Campbell, Barbara Doak and Sharon Thomas, who are cousins from Sidney, have been going to Country Concert for years and will be attending all three days this year. The threat of rain did not seem to deter them, and their only complaint was the parking for handicapped people was less than ideal, as they had to park farther away when all of the spots were taken. They reminisced on seeing past artists at the concert, like Blake Shelton, and said that all of the artists they saw at Thursday’s concert were great. They looked forward to seeing Brooks & Dunn Friday night.
The consensus for fans seemed to be centered around excitement for headliners Brooks & Dunn and Morgan Wallen to perform, but Gabby Barrett and Diamond Rio were also runners-up.
The lineup for Saturday, July 9 is as follows:
2 p.m. Niko Moon
4 p.m. Lauren Alaina
6 p.m. Chris Lane
8 p.m. HARDY
10 p.m. Morgan Wallen
1 p.m. John Morgan
3 p.m. ERNEST
5 p.m. Hailey Whitters
7 p.m. Sawyer Brown
9:15 p.m. Jake Worthington
For more information, visit www.countryconcert.com, or call 937-295-3000.