25 years ago some clown from Cadott, WI decided to start a music festival and the music of choice unfortunately happened to be country. Known as Country Fest or just “Fest,” it has evolved into the biggest redneck party this side of the Mississippi, or maybe even in the whole goll darn U.S. of A. A place where the outfit of choice is cowboy hat, jeans with a confederate flag belt, shitkickers, and no shirt. A place where the rules of the common folk do not apply. A place where underage drinking is encouraged and if you don’t have a beer in hand while driving, you will be taken to the gallows. A place where soberness is treated as a bigger sin than burning down a church full of babies. And finally a place where the scenery is hotter than the fire that burned Trace Adkins house down.
“Fest” started off with a half an hour drive from Eau Claire followed by a 2 and a half hour wait/stop and go drive to get to campsite Q-143. While sitting in line, fellow drunk camper Coltan decides to walk a mile and a half to bring me my discounted music pass (which leads to me saving $135). Next is a $30 4-day campsite pass and picking Zach and Jake up at the main gate. Just after getting screamed at by some bum ass security person for not moving, we roll down some dirt paths to the campsite where everyone is entirely smashed. The booz are unloaded and the unfun act of being sober and trying to catch up to drunk messes begins. Vodka and fruit punch is poured and I realize that I might be the only person at Country Fest who does not drink beer.
Thursday nights music lineup includes Lonestar, Gretchen Wilson and is highlighted by Trace Adkins who are irrelevant to my life. The concert music wise is as lame as fishing without a pole. Being 8 sheets to the wind does a big part in making the time bearable. The music comes to an end and we head back to the campsite to party and tell inappropriate jokes almost until sunrise. I soon find out that finding a comfortable sleeping spot will be one of the challenges of the weekend. My memory is a little fuzzy as to where I slept but I am positive it was not comfortable. The morning awakens and the campsite looks like a combo of New Orleans and Japan. We make a break back to Eau Claire to shower and recuperate, and about 4 hours later we head back but not before Drake decides to yack in the beer cooler in Gordy’s.
We return to a mix of Eau Claire and Rice Lake drunk clowns adding to the mess. We do our part and get good and liquored before heading to the music where I get in for free (the next 2 nights too) because the redneck working the gates doesn’t pay any attention to anything besides his dream of becoming a rodeo clown. Once again the music is a letdown headlined by Miranda Lambert, who was hot until Carrie Underwood performed the next night.
Next day (now Saturday) is more of the same. I get left behind at the campsite while everybody goes back to Eau Claire to shower and get their shit together. 17 hours later when everybody returns we grill some brats and burgers and head over to some fellow Rice Lakers campsite. Saturday night rolls around and its back to sipping on the bottle. With high anticipations of Carrie Underwood and nothing else fills the minds of men. With her performance at 11, we suffer thru some random bums and put down 4-5 twelve packs. We also hit up the beer tents to jam out to some cover bands who are trying to do their thing. Finally the moment arrives and Carrie Underwood puts on by far the best performance of Country Fest. Not just because she is super hot but because she can sing really well and has some semi likeable songs for a non country fan. She is also married to a hockey player which is a HUGE plus.
For the second straight night I purchase some good ass cheese curds (GACC’s), which run me $12 because I was sober enough to purchase 2 of them. The night once again ends with 75% of people at our campsite ending up in uncomfortable sleeping positions (on the dashboard of The Sprinter). Fast forward 14 hours ahead to when I realize I can drink again and I decide not to. Try spending half a day at Country Fest being Sober and you will have 1/1000 the fun if you would have been shit hammered. The finale of something is usually supposed to be the best but this rule does not apply to Country Fest. Josh Turner spent the whole time on stage promoting himself, trying to sell grills, shirts, underwear, socks and toilet paper with his damn face on it. The dude also had his music videos playing on the jumbo screens on either side of the stage. I mean, I would have loved to pay $175 to watch his videos instead of for free on Youtube. On top of that, all of his songs were slow as a granny with no legs. Lady Antebellum topped the night off with some lame ass songs and I needed a gun right then. Staying the night sober was not an option so Drake and I spent 20 or so minutes getting out of the campground, drove home and went directly to sleep.
Overall, I would definitely consider my first Country Fest experience to be a success. The partying, the destruction of the campsite, the food, and the scenery far outweighed the lack of entertainment from the music. Had this been Rap Fest, (which I will be starting in Rice Lake) people would have been up dancing, grinding, cutting rug, getting crazy instead of sitting in lawn chairs acting all scared. There definitely needed to be 7 or 8 churches at the campground for all of those suckers.
Highlights/Things Learned at Country Fest
1. A $24 cheese curd budget is acceptable
2. Diversity is not allowed
3. Clothing is optional
4. High school diplomas are overrated
5. Walkers Law-No man shall drink heavily for more than 3 days straight and survive
6. Carrie Underwood is super, super hot
7. Never, ever trust a port o jon
8. 1% of people who wear a cowboy hat at Country Fest actually wear one outside of it
9. Country music still sucks ass
10. I will be back next year
The Lounge Chair Legends