Get ready: Country Thunder rolling into Florence - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

Get ready: Country Thunder rolling into Florence

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Posted: Monday, April 7, 2014 6:00 am | Updated: 2:30 pm, Tue Aug 19, 2014.

Thousands of people are within days of a long awaited, country style vacation. Country Thunder 2014 is just around the corner, and with a star-studded lineup, the four-day country music festival will likely attract a record crowd.

Hosted in Florence, this year the event will see some of the most familiar faces in country music with headliners Thompson Square, The Band Perry, Miranda Lambert and Jason Aldean making up four of the 20 artists that will take the stage.

Each of the four headliners is a repeat performer at Country Thunder.

“The reaction we got last time was amazing, so you take it back to the people,” said Kiefer Thompson of Thompson Square in a phone interview. “We had a blast. You just couldn’t keep us away.”

Last year, more than 25,000 fans flocked to the festival, filling 5,100 campsites after additional sites had to be added to accommodate the crowd. The seemingly endless rows of RV’s, campers, and tents will no doubt be re-created this year in the bare land that makes up the outskirts of the stage.

Last year more than 50,000 rolls of toilet paper, 900 port-o-potties, 5,000 lemons for lemonade and 20 tons of trash passed through the festival grounds.

Craig Morgan, who is also a veteran performer at Country Thunder, said it’s a bit hard to believe just how many people show up to catch the show.

“I think it’s absurd, to be honest, that that many people still show up to see us,” said Morgan by phone. “We really do appreciate the fact that a lot of people go out and spend their hard-earned money to hang out with us.”

Like Morgan, a number of other artists will be performing their new hit singles this year at the show. Easton Corbin said his latest hit, “Clockwork,” is a little different from what fans might generally expect from him.

“I’m really proud of this song,” said Corbin. “I think it shows growth as an artist. It’s a little bit different melodically, and a little bit different sound than what I think people may be used to from me, but I think that’s a good thing. It still has that traditional country tug to it.”

Though no stranger to playing in Arizona, Corbin has never played at Country Thunder before. Neither has Cassadee Pope, the winner of season three of “The Voice,” whose hit “Wasting All These Tears” has gone platinum. She hopes the concert will give fans a new perspective of her.

“The thing I like about playing live is having people get to know me a little better, so they’ll definitely see more of my personality come out,” she said. “On ‘The Voice,’ you know, I sang a song a week, and that’s how people voted for me — they heard me sing. It wasn’t really about a personal thing, and I hope people get to see my live show and leave there knowing me better.”

The event will feature five artists per day, beginning with a 2:30 p.m. opener and the headliner wrapping up each night by 10:30 p.m. While the campgrounds are sold out, tickets are still being sold at arizona.countrythunder.com.

• The Explorer Newspaper will be covering all four days of the festival with daily stories and videos. To stay updated and to read complete artist interviews, visit expnow.com/ct2014.

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