FORT LORAMIE — It’s almost time for cowboy boots, beer, and country music.
In just a few short days country music lovers will flock from far and wide to Hickory Hill Lakes in Fort Loramie for three days of non-stop entertainment.
This year’s Country Concert, July 7, 8 and 9, is projected to bring in $14,940,000 to the region, according to projections from the Sidney Visitors Bureau.
The regional economic impact is prepared using the most recent average visitor spending data available from Ohio.org, the State’s official travel and tourism office. In addition, assumptions were made concerning several variables such as total attendance volumes, local versus out of town attendees, and the number of overnight stays in area hotel and camping venues.
President of the Sidney Visitors Bureau and Sidney-Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Jeff Raible said we need to emphasize that these economic impact estimates are regional in nature in that Shelby County alone does not have enough hotel rooms to accommodate all visitors to Country Concert who wish to stay in a hotel.
“As such, some visitors to the concert stay in Miami, Auglaize, and other nearby hotels such that a portion of their travel related spending is known to be outside of Shelby County,” he said.
The estimated regional economic impact of last year’s Country Concert was just under $16 million. The decrease in projection this year is due to the decrease in attendance from 2014 to 2015. A factor in the decrease in attendance could have been due to the rainy weather seen some of the days during last year’s concert.
The Weather Channel is currently predicting scattered thunderstorms for the weekend this year, but that hasn’t stopped Paul Barhorst, president of Country Concert, from being excited for the weekend.
“I like that so many people come together in Fort Loramie every year from all over the world with the common goal of having fun and making memories friends and superstars,” he said.
Barhorst, who has attended every single Country Concert since it’s start in 1981, said it’s a lot of fun to plan.
“It’s like putting together a giant puzzle. Fortunately, we have many people and groups that help us every year and many fans that have made it a tradition. Some have been with us since before the first official Country Concert, so, it’s like a reunion.”
Barhorst said after surveying fans last year, Eric Church was number one on the list of who they wanted to see in 2016. Well, they booked him and Church will be the headlining act on Saturday night at 10 p.m.
Barhorst said there’s also been a lot of buzz about Brantley Gilbert, Sam Hunt, and Thomas Rhett. Dierks Bentley is on fire, also, with recent #1’s “Somewhere On A Beach” and “Drunk On A Plane”.
“The great part is, if you ask 12 people after the shows, ‘Who was your favorite?’ You’ll get 12 different answers like, newcomer Cam in the saloon, legend The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band or energetic acts like Big & Rich,” Barhorst said.
Here is the full schedule of who is set to perform:
Wednesday, July 6 (Campers only):
6 p.m.: Chris Cavanaugh
8 p.m.: Clark Manson
10 p.m.: Old Dominion
Thursday, July 7:
6 p.m.: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
8 p.m.: Dustin Lynch
10 p.m.: Brantley Gilbert
3 p.m.: Carter Winter
5 p.m.: William Michael Morgan
7 p.m.: Canaan Smith
9:15 p.m.: William Michael Morgan
Friday, July 8:
4 p.m.: Chris Janson
6 p.m.: Big & Rich
8 p.m.: Sam Hunt
10 p.m.: Dierks Bentley
5 p.m.: The Wolfe Brothers
7 p.m.: Cam
9:15 p.m.: The Wolfe Brothers
Saturday, July 9:
Noon: Brothers Osborne
2 p.m.: Cassadee Pope
4 p.m.: A Thousand Horses
6 p.m.: Kacey Musgraves
8 p.m.: Thomas Rhett
10 p.m.: Eric Church
11 a.m.: Pilgrim
1 and 3 p.m.: Haley Georgia
5 p.m.: The SteelDrivers
7 p.m.: Brothers Osbourne
9:15 p.m.: The SteelDrivers
For more information, to order tickets, or book camping, visit countryconcert.com, or call 937-295-3000.
Reach this writer at 937-538-4825; Follow the SDN on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @sidneydailynews