The biggest party in the south has now come and gone for the year. Cullman’s Rock The South proved to be a new-country lover’s dream. With a two-day long strong line-up and (mostly) nice weather, it was a great time for goers to unwind. Headliners Luke Bryan and Sam Hunt played to a sold-out crowd of around 60,000.
The first day welcomed mild temperatures, blue skies, and lots of smiling faces. Alabama natives Trey Lewis and Casey Thrasher opened up the fest. Alyssa Michaela entertained with her beautiful yet cheeky music and presence. The daytime sun shone extra bright over Russell Dickerson’s vibrant performance and catchy tunes. High Valley added a little bit of a religious touch to the day, supporting the southern family culture and values the festival likes to represent. By the time Brett Eldridge hit the stage the sun had set and the crowd had filled-in. With a hyped entrance meant for Superman (literally) Brett hit the stage and continued to give 100% energy the entire set. When Luke Bryan made his grand appearance, the sea of super-fans went wild. He was very interactive with the crowd while giving a great performance of his many hits.
Day two rolled around and welcomed more great artists. A nice surprise for many, Ryan Follese brought his fun new solo act to Rock The South. I did not realize, and neither did many others, that he is also the singer for pop group Hot Chelle Rae. Another of our own, Riley Green offered his original, nostalgic songs that almost seemed like they were just meant for a day spent under the southern sunshine. Muscadine Bloodline helped put the “rock” in rock the south with a more gritty version of country.
There were a few downs with the ups. A large number of arrests and ejections were made over the weekend and a staggering amount of rain entered the area around 5 pm Saturday evening. One thing I saw during this event was how much everyone treated fellow attendees as friends. People teamed up and pushed half-flooded cars out, offered tow hitches and info, and passed the stormy time together without a frown. After a lightning evacuation and 3-hour rain delay, the country music festival continued as planned allowing all artists to play their set.
Around 8:30 Chris Janson reopened the festival to a huge muddy mess but fans trudged on. Maren Morris, Dustin Lynch, and another of ours, Sam Hunt, closed out the party. Plans are already in the works for next year so keep an eye out for updates!