Carter County Thunder founder Lincoln Theinert says he’s worried he won’t have any way to make next year’s fireworks and music as good as it will be this year.
The annual summer celebration’s July 2 kickoff concert brings one of the nation’s hottest acts, Sundy Best, to the Carter County Fairgrounds, Theinert said, with another of country music’s rapidly rising stars, Eric Paslay, set to take the stage on July 3.
“Within a four-month period Eric Paslay has charted a No. 1 single and has another already inside the top 25 which is nearly unheard of for a rising artist. As an example to help put into perspective how rare it is for an artist to achieve a No. 1 hit — Eric Church who has been around much longer than Paslay has only charted two No. 1 hits up until this week,” Theinert said.
“Over the past few years our goal has been to target up and coming country artists as Thunder’s headline entertainment who have the potential to be picked up in the following few years by a Major Artists Tour. In the case of Eric Paslay this year, we are excited to say that he literally will be stepping off the big civic center and arena stages and headlining Thunder with a major national tour already under his belt,” he said. “With Paslay we have to raise the bar of expectations given that he has already achieved such success. Instead of being picked up on a major tour within a few years of Thunder, maybe we all should hope to see him actually headlining his own major tour.”
Paslay is currently on the “Let It Ride” Tour with Brantley Gilbert, which includes stops at the KFC Yum Center and the Charleston Civic Center as well as more than 20 other major stadiums and Arenas.
Earlier this year Paslay charted his first No. 1 single “Friday Night.” The follow up to his No. 1 “Song About a Girl” was quickly released, and has been jumping up the Billboard Country Airplay Charts, it’s the 23rd most listened to country song on country radio nationally over the past week and climbing.
In addition to his own No. 1 “Friday Night,” those who attend Carter County Thunder can expect to hear Paslay perform other No. 1 hits he wrote such as Jake Owen’s “Barefoot Blue Jean Night,” Eli Young Band’s “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” Love and Theft’s “Angel Eyes” and the current Rascal Flatts hit “Rewind.”
Paslay will play “The Main Event,” Theinert explained, adding The Main Event will again be free of admission (thank to sponsors) and will include free inflatables for children, as well as fireworks.
“This year really is shaping up to be a home run. Hearing one of Paslay’s songs on the radio every time I am in the car is great,” Theinert said.
The kickoff concert headliner, Sundy Best, continues to develop a huge fan base it refers to as “kinfolk,” and have been gaining national attention with frequent appearances on CMT, the Grand Ole Opry and in national publications such as Country Weekly and Billboard Magazine. The single “Until I Met You” is being played on Satellite Radio.
“They are the hottest thing going — especially with the younger crowd,” he said, adding there is a $15 gate charge (advance tickets are $10) for Wednesday’s concert, although all other features are provided at no cost.
This year’s event will also feature outstanding local entertainment, Theinert said, with performances by Shelby Lore and Brand New Day, Dustin Burchett and Southern Ground, Devin Hale and Dustin Savage.
This year’s fireworks will also get a plus-factor compared to last year, he said.
“We can use the word bigger,” Theinert said with a chuckle. “It’s what people have come to expect.”
For more information, visit the Carter County Thunder page on Facebook.