Faster Horses Festival celebrated 5 years with a bang

I’ve attended quite a few festivals over the last couple of years; Rock on The Range, Chicago Open Air, Bunbury, Mo Pop, just to name a few. This last weekend, I was at Faster Horses Festival at Michigan International Speedway covering the festivals 5 year anniversary and I can easily say, nothing so far, compared to it.

This massive 3 day country festival took place this last weekend and I’m still left speechless. Unfortunately, due to the field I work in, I wasn’t able to attend the full day 1. I arrived shortly before Cole Swindell hit the main stage. As soon as I walked through the gates, my exact words were “holy sh*t!” All I could see was literally a sea of people and the rumor I was hearing, is that about 60,000 people packed the festival grounds to check out the return of Dierks Bentley. Both artists absolutely crushed it. The energy and crowd reaction was unlike any metal festival I’ve attended. They were easily my favorite of the weekend.

Friday night ended with high humidity and scorching temperatures, which continued into day 2. That didn’t stop the fans from getting their early for a spot on the barricade for headliner Miranda Lambert. Day 2 was the day I decided to really walk around the massive festival grounds and explore what the founders of Faster Horses had for the fans to experience. There was a few things I didn’t like but even more things I did enjoy. 

For starters, being set up in a huge field outside of the main race track, you don’t really have access to plumbing. So if you had to use the bathroom, you had to pick from one of many porta potty cities, as I call them. Being held in Brooklyn, Michigan, they did have something I really enjoyed. The “Made In Michigan Garden” featured all local Michigan made vendors and craft beer like Bell’s and my personal favorite, Founder’s. This was also probably the spot where you found the most shade to cool off at.

Let’s get back to the performers. Saturday featured someone I grew up loving and have seen him a couple times solo now. Darius Rucker brought out my favorite performance of Saturday night. Playing all of his solo hits like “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It,” “True Believers,” and “Come Back Song.” If you haven’t seen him live yet, you should know he always plays songs from his previous band, Hootie and The Blowfish. “Time,” “Let Her Cry,” and “Hold My Hand” to name a few.

Onto Sunday for the last of the 3 day bash. Michael Ray kicked things off on the Main Stage and ended his set with an announcement that the show will be evacuated due to a storm approaching. All fans cleared out and a little over an hour later, they opened gates back up. There was another little rain burst that came through in the evening but that didn’t send anybody ducking for cover. Especially when Luke Bryan was set to close out the evening. 

A lot of people give country a bad rep, but I’ll tell you this much, never have I encountered so many humble and true fans. Everybody was there to have a good time and enjoy the company of the hundreds of thousands of people surrounding them. Even if an incident happened, there were plenty of people stepping in to diffuse it because they just wanted everybody having a good time.

Now let me talk about Luke before I close this out. I’ve always been a big fan of him and for my first Faster Horses experience, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. The fans welcomed him by chanting “Luke! Luke!” As soon as he came on stage, the crowd erupted. He performed all of his hits and even had a little fun with the crowd by asking a few questions.

“How many of y’all, have used the bathroom, not in a bathroom?”

 

I really can’t picture a better way to end the celebration of 5 years than with a Luke Bryan fireworks display to close it out. While the festival is still new, it’s rapidly growing into the biggest most well known country festival around. So many dedicated fans have returned while there were so many new fans attending for the first time. This is a festival I will be talking about for days to come. See you next year Faster Horses!