Just last week, Doug Downey proclaimed the weekend of August 9-12 as “Boots and Hearts Weekend” in the County of Simcoe. Over the last few years, the annual festival has become the largest outdoor music venue in Canada drawing about 40,000 fans each year. With the opening of Boots and Hearts Music Festival, the official proclamation was the perfect kick-off to start the four day festival welcoming over 40 rising country music artists.
The four day event at Burl’s Creek Event Grounds was filled with country fans dressed in plaid, country vibe smiles and beers all over the grounds. Some of this years major headliners were Florida Georgia Line, Alan Jackson, and Thomas Rhett.
Some new additions to this years festival was the carnival style rides and games, including a LED Ferris Wheel and a 100-foot swing ride. Keeping its dedication to supporting emerging talent, Boots and Hearts returned with its annual Emerging Artist Showcase. The Festival continues to serve free breakfast for guests, and this year they even added a Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Boutique where guests can get freshened up and a complimentary make over.
Some of our favourite acts we caught over the weekend were newcomer Natasha Zimbaro. This Vancouver native graced the stage with her recent single “Cardboard Box.” We chatted with the singer-songwriter and she tells us, it was an amazing experience to perform for the first time on the main stage, and to see so many smiles earlier on in the day.
Over at the Front Porch Stage, acts such as River Town Saints, Walker Hayes, and returning act Genevieve Fisher had the crowd dancing on their feet with beers and smiles all day and night.
Dallas Smith, Brett Young, Billy Currington, Thomas Rhett, and Alan Jackson were some of the big headliners who took over the main stage.
Our favourite act of all weekend was Friday headliners Florida Georgia Line.The band was on set for almost two hours, and the boys had the crowd singing along to all their hit singles such as “H.O.L.Y” “Meant To Be” and “ This is How We Roll”. They had country girls wild when Tyler performed the end of their set with shirt off for their single “Anything Goes” . They closed the night off with the song that everyone came for (As quoted by the boys) “Cruise”.
Once again, Boots has proved to be the summer festival of the year! Thanks Republic Live!
Boots and Hearts 2019 will take place on Aug 8- 11.
[Photography by Melissa Campo]