ToadLick Music Festival - What a weekend! So. Much. Fun. We were sure a bunch of "Southern Sparkplugs" those four days. I haven't even been able to catch my breath to write a review.
Like any other festival, we always have a good time. Cassie says that we could write a book about the weekend if we just recorded our conversations. This one should be added to the record books! We made the trek out to Dothan, Ala. on Thursday night to see the Jared Ashley Band, as we won tickets to the festival through his fan club. We were able to see them at the Flora Bama and the Perdido Sports Bar while they were in the panhandle of Florida. I honestly cannot get his song, "Love Take All My Money" out of my head. It's so catchy and fun to listen to. Go download it on iTunes! After the show we had to drive back to Pensacola because Regina and I had to work Friday. Yes, we know we are insane and have a weird fascination with good people and live music. (Hi Jared, Rodeo, Grady, Mike, Norm and Margie!) We were able to meet Rodeo's nephew Mikel and his beautiful wife Sam. They were a blast!
As the public relations and marketing director for outside festivals and events, I understand the stress and anxiety that comes with outdoor events dependent on good weather. I started the weekend in work mode by quickly judging the parking, entrance, ticketing, layout, food vendors, commercial vendors, stage set up, beverage booths....everything. After I got that out of my system I was able to enjoy the weekend.
Friday was the worst possible weather for ToadLick. We had to drive with the flashers on at some points down the interstate. We finally made it.....just as Kip Moore stepped off the stage. David Nail came on stage next and he was so personable with the crowd it felt like a small secluded concert. His stage presence spoke to me and I'm a new fan! Then Jake Owen owned the entire stage, day and weekend. As soon as he steps out to perform he has so much energy for his fans. He takes time to sign hats, cds, shirts, posters, and pretty much anything. There was a sign that these guys made that said, "Jake, we got arrested last night trying to bring you Apple Pie Moonshine." He took time out of his concert to read the sign, laugh and just relate with them. He sits down on the stage and sings, takes pictures with fans cameras and phones and is just all around top class entertainment. Of course nothing can surpass when Cassie and I saw him at The Block in Ft. Walton and were front row, but he is never disappointing. Glad to see a country music star appreciate his fans so much. Billy Currington put on a good performance but we stayed toward the back of the crowd after being up front for Jake. The night ended with Trace Adkins on stage.
Let me side track and tell you a little about my friend Regina. Please don't dare her to do anything. Well, we had Reese with us Friday night and Reese decided to dare Regina to go hug this random guy. So, Regina did. Oddly enough he thought the dare was pretty funny and went along with it. He also ended up buying us a bag...yes bag...of beer. We nicknamed him Hugger. We took a photo with Hugger, it's below. We lost him after he went to get more beer and didn't see him the rest of the weekend.
After the concert ended we didn't want to go back to the hotel yet, so we stopped at probably the only bar in town...Cowboys! We walked up to the bar and a very nice maybe intoxicated gentleman across the bar bought our drinks. I tip my hat to you sir. Our bartender happened to look like Spencer Pratt and I proceed to tell him so while googling a photo to show him. He found us very amusing! We cut up, had random conversations about Daryle Singletary, Cowboy Troy, a necular power plant, radio stations, country music and festivals and didn't pay for a drink all night. I think they knew we were visiting. Lo Cash Cowboys made a surprise appearance and we ended our night with lots of laughter and dancing.
Since we checked into our hotel pretty late, then ended up trying to call the room (phone didn't work) then came to knock on our door to tell us they couldn't find us in the system and we had recheck in.
Here are some awesome quotes from the weekend:
"Awesome! I don't have a hangover." After getting out of bed, "Oh wait.....there it is"
Jake Owen had a string on his guitar break....and I quote him, "Hey my G string broke....anyone have an extra one out there?"
"I can't do that in my car...it will smell like a grape hooker"...as someone tries to pour grape vodka in a flask.
Trying to find street signs.."I see Blue 57 and Brown 57" "No, that's Blue St. and Brown St." "Why do they make signs so hard to read"
"I like you. I will take off your shoes but I will not take off your pants."
"I heard an ambulance this morning and I swore that they had found her in the hotel room. My finger prints are all over the room!"
"oh deer....I thought it was a car...but that's a car with four legs....ohhh deer"
"I married her just because she looked like you" I don't remember when this one came into play.
"Where did these bruises come from?? Ninja midgets????" "No! Don't you remember the limbo? We did the limbo!"
"Those Fema trailers have as much insulation as a good pair of Hanes underwear!"
"She went from sober and stalking to drunk and molesting."
"Only in ala-flipping-bama will you find Daryle Singletary AND Ryan Klesko in the same bar! Bless their hearts <3." Too bad it really wasn't Daryle Singletary but it WAS Ryan Klesko.
There were many many more......
Saturday was a long hot day. We quickly claimed our spot at the front with chairs and blankets. The manager of The Springs was handing out free song downloads and I mentioned they performed at our festival a couple of years ago and after a small conversation he quickly announced to pretty much everyone in the general area, "Oh you're Whitney?? I've talked to you on the phone before!" Why yes, yes you have thank you for telling everyone my name.
We enjoyed a wonderful performance by Joe Nichols who payed much attention to our group and threw two guitar picks our way. I got the first one and Cassie found the second. She has hawk eyes! We were in the same spot all day and ended up befriending these Dothan Police officers. They told Cassie to use her Media pass and take photos of Dierks Bentley for the first three songs. She took my camera and took full advantage of the situation. See photos below.
After a somewhat eventful night with festival attendees, rude should I say boys, a drunk women who lost her purse and started yelling in my face (the cops took her away from me) and the stage hand for Dierks throwing us a handful of guitar picks we went to the Tavern to see Rhett Akins for an acoustic performance. We ended the night at a bonfire listening to the beautiful voice of Ryn Palmer around a campfire and guys pickin' away on guitars.
All in all, we had a great weekend because we made it that way! ToadLick has some things to learn as a first year festival, but their problem solvers were on top of things. I can say this from experience through our festivals and also working the publicity for the first year of DeLuna Fest. I can tell you that they didn't spend their advertising dollars in the right places. Bonfire Jam had more people with three acts than ToadLick did and that can be changed. Market and promote the correct way. Also --- social media is your friend, you NEED and HAVE to answer questions and comments on your page and NOT from a personal account. Answer FROM ToadLick and be official. ToadLick had the ability to have local, regional, and national media there. I didn't see a media tent anywhere. Where can the media upload photos, do radio station call ins or write? <-- Take my free advice, I'll charge you for it next time!
Enjoy the photos!! See you next year! YEEHAW!
Thursday, March 22
|Watching Jared Ashley Band and we met Sam! (far right)|
|Rodney Atkins invited Rhett Akins on stage.|
Friday, March 23
|Lovin' some David Nail!|
|David Nail put on a great show even in yuck weather.|
|Jake Owen - the whole reason we were trying to get to the festival early!|
|He didn't disappoint. Look how beautiful the sunset was behind him.|
|We nicknamed him "Hugger" and scored a bag of beer. Yes, a bag.|
|At Cowboys of Dothan.|
Saturday, March 24
|He threw us two guitar picks.|
|We forgot to take photos all day. This is the best we did. :/|
|Dierks' guitar player (Close up photos by Cassie)|
Sunday, March 25
|Easton Hamlin - he was sooo good!!|