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Music fest’s Day 1 is in the books

Posted on Saturday, August 24, 2019 at 10:50 am

By David Knox

Day 1 is in the books and we’re rolling into the final day of the inaugural Lynchburg Music Fest.

Joe Diffie and Easton Corbin closed the night with terrifically well-received sets, delivering fan-pleasing songs and lots of informal chatter with the audience as the biggest crowds of the day went home happy, although a little wet as the long-awaited rain finally moved in.

But one of the great things about festivals is seeing artists you know less about and fall in love with.

During the day were some poignant moments.

Keith Anderson turned in an awesome set, but also talked about personal hardships that deeply affected him. He told of how his mother died of brain cancer in 2008. One of the biggest hits he’d ever had was on the radio at the time.

“I didn’t want to sing it. Didn’t know if I’d ever play it again,” Anderson told the crowd. “I was angry at God, angry at everybody. But God is still good. God is God.

“I didn’t handle it the right way, and I was off the road for a while.”

He then played “I Still Miss You,” a song for his mom, one that ended up at No. 2 on the Country charts.

“I love Lynchburg. I’ve got friends here who have stood beside me and I hope I get invited back every year.”

Craig Campbell followed with a strong, well-received set.

“I’m so happy to be here because I know the people of Lynchburg love country music. And it’s 45 minutes from my house so I’m fortunate to have my family on hand.

He brought his two daughters out, Kinni Rose and Preslee, and they each sang a solo to their dad’s accompanying piano for a special moment.

“Follow that, Joe Diffie,” he joked.

Campbell said he got his start playing piano in church. “I was raised in a strong Southern Baptist home, which allows me to have a cold beer and still love Jesus.”

With that he raised a cup and said “This set is brought to you by what is in this cup. I’m not saying, I might get arrested,” he said to cheers and laughter.

Those sets set the stage for the top acts of the evening, Cassadee Pope, Diffie and Corbin, who each gave their fans their money’s worth as Day 1 wrapped up just as the rains finally came.

The festival-goers were well-behaved, no major issues were reported, and for a first-time undertaking, there were very few glitches.