The first thing most people think of when they hear about Lynchburg, Tennessee is whiskey. The association is fair considering Jack Daniel’s whiskey is what put this small town of less than ten thousand residents, measuring 130 square miles on the map. After this year’s third annual Lynchburg Music Fest, it is reasonable to say that music is becoming a close second. The three-day music event has proven that if you build it, the fans will come.
Let’s get the party started…
Just a stone’s throw away from the famous Jack Daniel’s distillery the music festival has grown into an annual pilgrimage. The first day of this year’s event had a buzz in the air as sponsors, vendors and other crew members set up. The large 100+ acre farm location is a perfect spot for any large outdoor gathering, especially one that involves music. It was inviting and spacious so everyone could be comfortable and set up their lawn chairs without concern or worry as it related to personal space, or social distancing. One other thing that organizers did for fans, is made the festival a cashless event. Upon entrance, the fans were provided a wristband with a chip. If they needed help creating their account, there were multiple places on the grounds to add money to the wristbands. This is one trend that is sure to stay. It made transactions throughout the weekend seamless regardless of if you were buying food or merchandise.
It was obvious from day one that the fans were not the only ones excited. One could say the vendors themselves were just as happy to participate in this year’s festival. They experienced the negative effects of the pandemic just as much as anyone. All the vendors were ready to meet the fans and provide them with a great experience and without a doubt found a few new customers in the process.
Prior to the first performance, crews set up not one or two but three stages. In addition to the main stage, there were two smaller stages. One was sponsored by the tobacco-free nicotine patch company, Zyn and the other was the club select small stage for VIP guest. The small stage included performances by singer-songwriters. With Nashville being one of the top ten places for singer-songwriters, it was a nice touch to bring a little bit of Music City to Lynchburg. That sort of access is not something many people get the opportunity to experience outside of Nashville.
In addition to the food and beverage trucks, there was a noticeable presence of Jack Daniel’s branded merchandise, several bar top tables, and no matter where you looked you knew you were in the whiskey giant’s backyard. The festival even had its own bottle labeled to commemorate the occasion. There was no doubt that what was to come would be special.
The Show Must Go On…
Mother Nature reared her ugly head and thought rain was necessary as a cruel joke on Friday, the second day. Therefore, there was a short delay in live performances, but as the saying goes, “the show must go on”. Even though, no one could have planned for the weather, having Rockstar Energy there with free drinks came across as genius in hindsight. The delay caused the second day to end later than scheduled but honestly, no complaints once the show started. The organizers were able to get communication out to the attendees in advance, so everyone was aware of the delayed start. Thankfully, that was the only time that the festival had any significant rain. The rest of the event only had a few sprinkles so needless to say, the rain that did occur was overall forgettable.
When the artist finally took the stage, it was worth the wait. The headliner on day two was Hardy and his set was described as electric. People did not think twice about the rain earlier that day and just enjoyed the evening. Hardy killed his performance, and the fans were not disappointed. Just because there was a rain delay, the impact was not passed on to the concertgoers. They were not shortchanged a full performance and it was a great end to the second night.
Save The Best For Last…
Of course, the third and final day was the longest but when you are having fun, it goes by fast! On top of having a great musical lineup, there was also an onsite rodeo. I spoke to a lady who lived nearby, who said, “I never thought that I would have a rodeo in my front yard!” The Invitational Ranch Rodeo was held on the last day of the festival. Even though it was not centered around music, it was a rodeo! It was a favorite of the younger attendees and an experience they will not ever forget.
On Saturday evening, the highlight performances were both Walker Hayes and Cody Jinks. The Hayes set brought the crowd together. His Tik Tok dance with his daughter to his song Fancy Like started to energize the crowd. That energy held strong the rest of the evening in which Cody Jinks closed out the festival with a bang. By the time Jinks hit the stage, everyone was on their feet and the crowd was the largest of the day. The people who knew the words to the songs sang right along in unison at the top of their lungs, many others just swayed back and forth.
The entire weekend can be summed up in a nutshell with a quote from the world-renowned reggae artist Bob Marley:
“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”
The ambiance was awesome, from the atmosphere to the food and beverages. When music lovers come together in a shared space it is a recipe for good times and positive vibes. The love of music and whiskey is a combination that makes the Lynchburg Music Fest a safe bet for a fun-filled weekend full of joy.