Crews set up for KCQ Country Music Fest - WNEM TV 5

Crews set up for KCQ Country Music Fest

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The biggest weekend for country music lovers is here. It's time for the 98.1 KCQ Country Music Fest.

This year has a great lineup and the best part is that it's a free concert.

It takes place Saturday at Ojibway Island and it's all free. 

Friday crews were busy at work preparing for the show.

"I love to watch the people come in, they're so excited. To a lot of folks, this is the only concert they go to every year because concert tickets are expensive," said Jim Kramer, KCQ morning DJ.

This year's concert features country duo Montgomery Gentry and Michigan native Frankie Ballard.

Also on stage are newcomers Native Run.

KCQ DJ Barb Sheltraw said the up-and-coming bands are usually ones to watch out for.

"Back in 2000, we started bringing new talent and Blake Shelton was the new face - and how many went to that concert and thought, who's Blake Shelton?" Sheltraw said.

The concert is an all-day event.

At 7 a.m. the island opens to the public, but things really start to get going around 9 a.m. 

At 11 a.m. Dani Vitany and Ten Hands Tall take the stage, then at 12:15 p.m. are the newcomers Native Run. 

At 1:30 p.m. Frankie Ballard performs, and at 3:30 p.m. is the headliner Montgomery Gentry.

The event packs thousands of people to the island every year.

"I just got an email from a KCQ Country Music Fest fan who moved to Arkansas back in 2013. Always went to the country music fest and she is traveling over 1,200 miles to see the show this Saturday," Sheltraw said.

There will also be plenty of food tents, a car show, and a new gaming tent set up this year.  

"You know how your kids are always saying 'take me take me?' Well you don't want to spend $50 to take them to a concert because you get bored. But take them! It's free! Set up their little lawn chair and put on their sunglasses and dance," Sheltraw said.

The concert is free, but patrons can still buy Section 98 and preferred gold seating tickets at the door while they last.

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