FLORENCE, Arizona – After one of the shortest breaks in this festival’s history (Country Thunder Arizona 2021 just wrapped up in October), Country Thunder Arizona is back at Canyon Moon Ranch outside of Florence for a four-day weekend.
The event – which will run from April 7-10, 2022 – features headliners from Riley Green, Blake Shelton, Morgan Wallen and Florida Georgia Line. Many crowd-pleasing artists will take the stage before the headliners, including Hardy, Gabby Barrett, Lindsey Ell, Tracy Lawrence, Michael Ray, Chase Rice, Maggie Rose and many more.
Thousands of country music fans will flock to Florence for a weekend of music, dancing and entertainment.
We’ll be updating this blog all weekend with photos and highlights from Arizona’s biggest music festival.
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Make a fashion statement at Country Thunder
I would call the country thunder fashion “summer western”.
Portable fans – paired with a sturdy pair of cowboy boots – seem like the props of the day.
Those who can’t stand the heat simply wear less. Women came out in bikinis and a man walked past, shirtless, in a red, white and blue bathing suit. Other festival goers show off their neon striped flared pants while wearing bandanas for the tops
In addition, you can’t miss the dog fashion either. Rodeo is in full Country Thunder form with a cowboy hat and saddle on his back. He is perhaps the one best dressed for the occasion.
Find boba tea at a music festival
I was heading to the shopping area when I saw him. The thing I didn’t know I was looking for. Something that would complete my day as a self-proclaimed boba connoisseur.
You see, a man had just walked past me holding a cup of boba tea.
My mission then became clear: find the Country Thunder boba vendor. A few steps from the food court later, I came across Boba King Bubble Tea (“Drinks with a Pop”). For as little as $13 — the price of two to three drinks outside of the festival — you can refresh yourself with a cup of iced black tea flavored with peach, mango, lychee or passion fruit with tapioca or popping boba. The menu also offers milk tea ($10 for the drink; an additional $3 for garnish) and frozen slushies for $13.
After much deliberation, I opted for the mango tea – I confirmed with the seller that it was a black tea mango flavor – with boba. Although the ice cold drink was a welcome antidote to the relentless sun, the drink and the boba were lacking. Iced tea tastes more like apple juice, and boba is quite tasteless (it would ideally be sweetened, cooked in sugar) and doesn’t have the perfect fluffy texture.
If any other boba tea fans are planning on coming here, you better grab your treat as you walk in.
— KiMi Robinson
Fans claim their claims to prime locations early
The doors are open for the first day of Country Thunder Arizona, and some fans have settled on either side of the main stage.
The early bird catches the worm, after all.
The professional method of reserving a spot for the day seems to be to tie groups of camping chairs together with yellow tape. Michele Morlet and Joey Ann Staggs – who flew in from Hawaii this week – and their friend Sali Fujimoto borrowed tape from another group to mark their territory.
They’re not there for a specific headliner, they said. They are there for the experience. This includes indoctrinating Morlet (this is his first Country Thunder) and, for Staggs and Fujimoto (who have already attended twice), reuniting with old friends they met at previous Country Thunder events. .
The trio commute from Queen Creek every four days, but they have plenty of friends to visit at the campgrounds while they wait for the artists to take the stage.
— KiMi Robinson
Morgan Wallen does “lake music?” »
Morgan Wallen’s youngest fan may have just joined Country Thunder.
Meet Tucson resident Hayden Walker. She is five. It’s her first time at the event, although her parents have been coming since 2013, her mother, Jordan Walker, said.
“Country music is life for us,” said Jordan Walker. “That’s all.”
That’s why the family pulled into their campsite last night with their trailer, something they bought specifically for their trips to Country Thunder.
Hayden is dressed in her best clothes – a rainbow dress with her makeshift country boots, if not the boots she wears when trying to dress up as Anna from Disney’s “Frozen.” But they’re perfect for this event, she said, and even more perfect for dancing when Morgan Wallen performs.
“I’m very excited for the lake music,” she said.
“It’s Morgan Wallen,” her mother said with a laugh.
They turn on his music whenever they head to the lake.
“He’s our boy,” Jordan Walker said. “And now he’s hers too.”
It’s gonna be hot, so try to stay cool
The doors are open to Country Thunder Arizona 2022 even though the music won’t start until 4 p.m. If you’re heading to the festival at Canyon Moon Ranch near Florence, keep the weather forecast in mind.
In a nutshell, it will be hot for this time of year. Forecasts call for temperatures in the mid-90s on any day of the event. Be sure to wear light, loose clothing. Wearing a hat is a good idea as there is not much shade in the festival area. And, of course, drink plenty of water.
Here is Thursday’s music lineup.
On the main stage:
- 5 p.m. Nolan Sotillo
- 6:30 p.m. Lindsay Ell
- 8:00 p.m. Randy Houser
- 10 p.m. Riley Green
On the Copperhead stage:
- 4:00 p.m. Salt River String Orchestra
- 5:30 p.m. Young Country
- 7 p.m. Ryan Sims
- 9pm Kaylee Rose
- 11:30 p.m. Robby Johnson