An end to a beautiful weekend has come. The final and extremely hot day of Stagecoach was epic. I could not have planned the day’s events better myself. There were surprises for us around every corner along with unforgettable moments. We laughed, we made friends and we even got emotional with A Thousand Horses.
Day three began slightly different than the previous two days. We found a much shorter route to our destination, shaving about half a mile off the 1.3-mile hike in from the car. All that was left to complete this festival was our hopes of getting to see and speak with the guys from Old Dominion and A Thousand Horses as we were unable to schedule interviews with them. We were the first of the media to arrive and everything was quiet as the gates were not open for another hour. It was the perfect time for my first artist interview with the lovely Ruthie Collins.
Collins came in with a gorgeous smile and excitement beaming from her eyes. She was simply glowing. Starting the day off on a high note was amazing as it set the tone or the rest of our spectacular day. Collins has such a positive and grateful attitude. Her energy and love for life are undeniable. Appreciative of the opportunities she has been given, Collins was still in shock that she would soon be playing the Mane Stage. Stay tuned for our upcoming Conversations with Missy featuring Collins later this week.
After my conversation with Collins, I sat down to write my article for day two of Stagecoach. As you may recall, I took a break from writing my article when Old Dominion came waltzing into the media tent. Could this be real? I was hoping for this. We just talked about hoping this would happen. Ready to rock the Mane Stage, these guys looked flawless and pumped. Having to stick to a tight schedule, I was unable to get an interview with them; however, they graciously agreed to take a picture and say “hello.” Immediately heading to the stage for their performance to take pictures was our fearless leader and head photographer, Tommy Lemon. Lemon captured some amazing shots of these talented artists that had their fans cheering and screaming for more.
I could not believe my eyes when again I was surprised. This time it was A Thousand Horses that moseyed into the media tent. Can someone pinch me please? I was so grateful that I was given a brief moment to speak with them about how much they mean to a special fan. Abby Bowden, this moment is for you. I may not have said everything you wanted me to say, but they were speechless and wanted to say hello to you as well. I found my eyes welling up with tears as I spoke to them. The impact music has on people is remarkable. For this special fan, A Thousand Horses means the world to her. The impression these guys have left on this young girl is priceless. Thank you boys for taking the time to listen and chat.
We were able to catch their performance on the Mane stage and it was nothing short of amazing. Fans were elated as they threw mini stuffed horses from Wells Fargo up on stage. Fans were becoming increasingly excited with each song and it clearly showed.
As I sat in the media tent still working on the computer, I could not believe my eyes. Am I really getting this lucky? Knowing that we had to reschedule our interview due to time, I was delighted to see Dustin Lynch walk in. This is when it all changed. The best Stagecoach 2016 moment was about to occur. Knowing there was not enough time for an interview, we were given a photo op with Lynch. For those of you who have never stood that close to him, that smile and those eyes really are phenomenal. He is such a genuine soul. Happily, he stood for photos with many of us and even filmed a snap chat clip. This is it. I stood for a photo with Lynch and he spoke the words “You’re hot!” It must have been the look in my eyes because he followed with “You need shade!” Yes, wait, what? Lemon and I had a great laugh with that one. By far, that was the best thing I have ever been told. I laughed and smiled. I am sure my look must have freaked him out when he realized what he said. I am still laughing. He was right though. I was absolutely sweltering in the heat and desperately needed to get inside the shaded area.
When Lynch took the stage, everyone went crazy. Singing all his hits and flashing that great smile had his female fans enchanted. Even Sam Palladio was having a good time. We caught him dancing in the crowd enjoying himself too.
Rounding out festival was Little Big Town and Luke Bryan. The fans were packed in to see the final acts. As Little Big Town took the stage, they opened with an acapella version of Prince’s “When Doves Cry”. The audience was emotional as they sang along to this tribute of a lost musical icon. What a great way for them to begin their set. Fans were engaged and continued showing their love for Little Big Town by singing every lyric and at times on their own.
This is it. The final performance. The man so many females are seduced by with those tight jeans and booty shaking moves was about to take the stage. There was one girl in particular that was patiently waiting to see Bryan’s performance. Here is what happen as reported by fan, Erin Sasse, in her own words.
“By Sunday night everyone is hot, tired and a bit punchy. The crowd seemed particularly rowdy as the final acts approached and Stagecoach 2016 was coming to an end. As much as I had loved my experience over the weekend, the attitudes of my fellow attendees started to put a damper on the experience. Fortunately, my Mom and I had made some awesome friends the first night and we all worked together to save spots and make food and beverage runs. Josh, one of my new friends was wearing a F*** Cancer hat on Friday night and this struck a chord with me because not only do I have family battling the disease, I had a former colleague and friend pass away Thursday night at far too young of an age. Fast-forward to Sunday night. In the middle of the craziness, Josh, gets the attention of some of the staff and asked if there was any way to get a girl a little closer to the stage. As he ushered the girl up I noticed that she was now wearing his hat. The staff, who were all very friendly, happily accommodated her and she was able to get a seat right up front and as she was dancing and holding up a sign, Luke Bryan pointed to her. As the show wrapped up and everyone was leaving one of the stage crew gave her a copy of the set list. This was pretty cool and she was very excited to have the memento. Everyone has their battles, and from talking to this girl it sounds like she has had a rough go, but she said being able to see Luke Bryan was a dream come true and it made her life. She had just turned 18 and came to Stagecoach alone. What a brave girl. She deserved the moment and I am grateful to have been a little part of it. Hat’s off to Josh, Harley and all the other people that made this girl's night.”
WOW. Funny how one event can change someone’s life and perspective. Center Stage Magazine is grateful to have met so many friends and fans during this tightly packed three days of fun. Until next year… ~Missy