Mother Nature may have dealt a torrential downpour on Friday evening, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of 14,000 music fans at the sold-out Dauphin’s Countryfest.
Starting at about 5:30 p.m., Environment Canada issued severe thunderstorm alerts, and the rain came down on the Countryfest site. Lights flickered, tents began to leak, campsites got soaked, and the main barbeque went out. Some folks took shelter, some dug out their umbrellas, and others donned ponchos and simply stayed put in their seats to wait it out…
And through it all, the music never stopped.
Alberta’s Bobby Wills was playing on the Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Main Stage when the storm hit. Fortunately, the stage is well sheltered, and he continued on.
The rain never stopped Nashville’s Blackjack Billy either, whose lead singer Noll Billings happily crowd-surfed among raincoat-clad fans. South Carolina native
Lee Brice toasted the crowd, proclaiming that beverages taste “just as good in the rain as the sunshine.”
The Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Main Stage wrapped up with The Band Perry, who paid tribute to all of Canada by bringing the Canadian flag on stage partway through their set. They performed an instrumental version of O Canada, complete with fiddle, while a rain-soaked audience of 14,000 proudly and patriotically sang along.
It truly was a crowd-warming moment.
While Dauphin’s Countryfest prides itself on featuring the biggest and best national/international country acts each year, it’s also a priority for the festival to provide a venue for local artists.
“Here in Manitoba we have a thriving music industry and a lot of great artists from across all genres,” says Eric Irwin, President of Dauphin’s Countryfest. “So it’s important to us to showcase as many of Manitoba’s upcoming bands as we can, including Dauphin’s own Desiree Dorion and Jordan Allard, Brandon’s Until Red, and many others from Winnipeg and throughout Manitoba.”
A total of 18 bands from Manitoba are performing at Dauphin’s Countryfest this year.
ABOUT DAUPHIN’S COUNTRYFEST
Canada’s longest running country music festival, Dauphin’s Countryfest, celebrated its 25th anniversary June 26-29, 2014. Since 1990, Dauphin’s Countryfest on the edge of Riding Mountain National Park has been attracting the biggest names in country music to one of the most beautiful regions of rural Manitoba.
With a capacity of 14,000, the unique outdoor amphitheatre built into the side of an escarpment provides every patron a perfect view from any seat in the house.
Dauphin’s Countryfest is a not-for-profit organization that consists of a 12-member volunteer Board of Directors and a membership of over 2000 loyal supporters. Organizers credit over 2000 volunteers who work tirelessly each year providing essential services for the festival weekend, while fundraising for their respective community organizations. On top of various community contributions, Countryfest pays out approximately $150,000 each year to community organizations that provide services for the festival.