The first Thunder on the Mountain is underway on Mulberry Mountain. The three day music festival features some of the biggest names in country music. Thousands of fans are pouring into Franklin County for a chance to catch some big stars in their backyard.
This is the first year for Thunder on the Mountain, an event years in the making says event director Brett Mosiman, “To bring country to Northwest Arkansas it’s been about a two year plan and came together this weekend pretty good.”
The country music brought in more locals and less camping like other festivals on the mountain. Weekend traffic was a concern for those attending. “We’re expecting a lot more traffic a lot of people just want to come to just see one of the singers,” said Sheriff Anthony Boen. Mosiman adds to that saying, “(There are) a lot of day parkers so they’re heading home each night.”
Festival attendees were very excited for the weekend’s lineup. “We got the tickets for Christmas once we heard about it we knew we had to come,” said Dennis Reynolds. Another fan adds, “I absolutely love country music I’ve always been a country fan and with it being in our back yard pretty much I thought why not,” said Kristen Hayes.
Jeff Weedman turned the weekend into a little road trip, “I rode down on my motorcycle on Wednesday fought a little bit of rain little bit of bad weather but I tell you what it was worth the trip,” he says.
The economic boost will be major when Thunder wraps up. The money which comes in is big for any town, but in the town of Ozark, less than 4,000 it’s a major boost. “I would guess this is a two to five million dollar event and the churn factor as the chamber of commerce likes to say is four to eight times that,” said Mosiman.
Headliners include Luke Bryan and Toby Keith. Saturday is the final day of Thunder on the Mountain.