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Carolina Country Music Festival
Dear Think Country,


Greetings from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina!

I’m sitting in a bar right now overlooking the ocean, drinking “Caribbean Fireball” (fireball whiskey and malibu) cocktails and recovering from an amazing weekend at CCMF.

The Carolina Country Music Festival was held this weekend in Myrtle Beach, with Keith Urban, Tim McGraw and Florida Georgia Line headlining the event, along with performances from Cole Swindell, Jake Owen, A Thousand Horses, The Cadillac 3, Kelsea Ballerini, Maren Morris and Joe Nichols to name just a few.

We decided to skip the official kick off party on Thursday night (sorry Gary Allen) to see a little bit of Myrtle Beach, and ended up shopping at Broadway At The Beach, and having dinner and drinks at Margaritaville.

The festival started at 2pm each day, so it meant we could spend the mornings at the beach. On Saturday we rented bicycles and on Sunday morning we went kayaking. I’ve been to a few US country festivals now and this was by far my favourite. It was all the best bits of Springjam PCB and Route 91 Harvest combined, without the chaos and heavy scheduling of CMA Festival.

My Friday night highlight was Jake Owen. There’s something awesome about hearing songs like Beachin’ and Barefoot Blue Jean Night within feet of the ocean. My Saturday night highlight was Tim McGraw, who i absolutely love and gets better every time i see him. I love that his set covered a mix of old and new songs, and i got to hear California live, which is my favourite song on the Damn Country Music album.

Sunday was my favourite day, despite the 34c heat. We kept cool with Jack Daniels and Lemonade drinks and made sure we had lots of sunscreen. I got to see Chris Lane live – Broken Windshield View is my favourite song of his, go check it out if you haven’t listened. We rocked out with TC3 and ATH and then were lucky enough to have a meet and greet with FGL – who were super lovely and very tall!

It was my first time seeing Cole Swindell live and he included all my favourite songs in the setlist – Broke Down, Up, Chillin’ It and Hope You Get Lonely. We raised a glass not only to the servicemen overseas, but in the aftermath of the tragic Orlando events this weekend, to all the local police, firemen and services who continuously dedicate their lives to give us the ability to enjoy such events. We closed out the festival with Florida Georgia Line, singing and dancing as loud as we could for their whole set. They definitely brought the party to Myrtle Beach, as well as treating us to new songs Dig Your Roots, Smooth and H.O.L.Y.

It was also a cashless festival – so you had to load money onto your wristband, either via the app beforehand or at stations around the festival. It made it super easy to pay for things and the queues at the bar seemed to move quicker than what i’ve usually seen. CCMF and the local police did a fantastic job in organising the event, and making sure everything ran smoothly. One thing that stood out was how respectful the crowd were of their surroundings too.

Hope you can come next year. CCMF 2017 is being held June 9-11 and i definitely can’t wait to come back!!

Claire xx


Annette Gibbons
Hi, I’m Annette, I have been a huge country music fan since the early 90s those were the days we were lucky enough to have CMT in the UK. I enjoy nothing more than listening to country music whilst having a cold beer (or a moonshine) with friends. I try to as many gigs as I can here in the UK and in the USA; I think of Nashville as my second home and I am lucky to have made some amazing friends in Tennessee. Think Country is something I am very proud of, I just want to share my love and passion of all things country music related with you all.
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