Nearly 10,000 people made their way to Mulberry Mountain in Ozark this weekend to celebrate country music at Thunder on the Mountain. This was the first year for the three-day music festival, which was held June 6-8.
More than 60 performances were scheduled on three stages during the festival. Event headliners like Toby Keith, Luke Bryan, Gretchen Wilson and Big & Rich attracted excited fans.
"I can't talk because all I did was scream at the Big & Rich concert," said Kendra Curpow from Charleston. "It was so good!"
Fans said they especially enjoyed getting hear some of the up and coming artists.
"It's great seeing talent that's just starting, local talent," said Lorie Jones of White Hall.
Jenna Cunigan and her friends traveled from Columbia, Mo., for the festival. She said she became a fan of a new band she discovered at Thunder on the Mountain.
"Backroad Anthem is awesome," said Cunigan. "Everyone needs to check them out. They are so good. I really hope they make it."
For many fans, Luke Bryan's performance Friday evening (June 7) was one they won't soon forget.
"We made a sign out of a beer box," said Cunigan. "It said 'Luke, shake it for us,' and he did! He pointed right at us and he shook it. That was probably the highlight of the trip."
Jones was impressed with the way Bryan interacted with the crowd. She said women threw their cellphones to the stage and Bryan took picture of himself with the phone then lay down on the stage and took pictures of himself with the women.
Fans were excited to see some more of the weekend's biggest acts scheduled to play Saturday including Gretchen Wilson, Justin Moore and Toby Keith.
Ashlee Paxton and Nick Gooch drove six hours from Sedalia, Mo., to see their favorite artist.
"I'm actually here to see Colt Ford," said Paxton. "He's a little bit different. He's kind of a country rapper."
Troy Eckelhoff, Music and Program Director for radio station 99.9 KTCS, said Thunder on the Mountain gives fans a change to experience a variety of country music.
"You've got the Texas side, you've got the red dirt side coming in with Nashville, all combined," he said. "All those meshing into one genre for one great weekend here in Arkansas."