Words & Deeds

Mountain Home Country Music Festival will return to Idaho, reveals 1st headliner

Fans are hoping that lightning does not strike twice at the Mountain Home Country Music Festival. The event will return in 2018, despite inclement weather hurting attendance in 2017.
Fans are hoping that lightning does not strike twice at the Mountain Home Country Music Festival. The event will return in 2018, despite inclement weather hurting attendance in 2017.

As ol’ Kenny says, you’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.

Apparently, there’s been time enough for countin’ for organizers of the annual Mountain Home Country Music Festival.

Despite a third year marred by stormy weather, a nixed headliner and lower attendance as a result, the festival has announced it will return to the same site in rural Elmore County for a fourth go-round next year.

Rockin’ country star Eric Church is the first headlining act announced for the event, which will be July 27-29. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 22, at mountainhomefestival.com. Prices range from $100 for single-day general admission to $300 for three-day, top-tier VIP.

For fans, it’s a pleasant surprise. Stormy weather and lightning forced Friday-night headliner Keith Urban and opener Billy Currington to be canceled this summer. Attendance numbers took a hit as a result. Afterward, festival president Anne Hankins would not promise a return in 2018. From an outside perspective, it felt like a 50-50 prospect at best.

But ultimately, results were encouraging enough to warrant “moving forward with 2018,” Hankins said.

Located 30 minutes from Mountain Home, the Mountain Home Country Music Festival is put on by Bi-Mart, which produces similar festivals in other states.

Several improvements were made this year, including single-day tickets and the elimination of beer gardens — in other words, freedom to explore the entire venue if you were carrying an alcoholic beverage. The headliners who did perform this summer were Luke Bryan and Chris Stapleton.

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