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Country Thunder revs up for weekend shenanigans

Craven Valley is about to fill up for the annual country festival, with a star-studded lineup well worth the wait
craven 2014
Keith Urban headlines at the 2014 festival. (photograph: Larissa Kurz)

The Country Thunder music festival is stomping into Craven Valley on July 11-14, and before you pack up your boots, here are the things to know to get the best out of the weekend. 

Weekend passes and day passes are still available for purchase online, and wristbands can be picked up at will call at the front gates — which opens at 9 a.m. on July 10-14. 

Camping passes are still available for both tents and campers, which includes entrance for one vehicle. Extra vehicles need their own passes, or they can park across Highway 20 in the lot for free.
Not willing to leave your vehicle in the lot? That’s fine, because the SGI Safe Ride shuttle will be running to the site from both Moose Jaw and Regina on July 12-14. Departures from both cities begin in the afternoon and end in the early evening, while departures from Craven end between 2:30 and 3 a.m.

Make sure to check out the schedule online before planning your night, to make sure you catch the right bus. 

Gates open on July 10 to get your campsite situated, and the beer gardens will also open that day at noon, with Erin Hill taking the stage at 6 p.m. to get things started.

The Festival Bowl — where all the shopping, food vendors, and main stage shows take place — opens for business on July 11 at 6 p.m. For the rest of the weekend, the Festival Bowl opens at 2 p.m., and the main stage starts up at 3 p.m.  

This year’s lineup features names like Terri Clark and Dallas Smith on July 11, followed by classic stars like Lonestar, Gord Bamford, and Jake Owen on July 12. 

July 13 is the night to go, with Travis Tritt opening the crowd for country heavy-hitter Tim McGraw headlining the weekend, and July 14 has the Road Hammers making their return to the Craven stage, followed by Chris Stapleton to wrap up the weekend. 

Also, for the first time this year, the Craven Beach Party is setting up, featuring a pool, DJ, and a volleyball tournament with some impressive prizes. 

As always, Craven-goers should prepare for the weather — the current forecast is looking like three hot days, with a chance of a thunderstorm on Friday, so prep accordingly. Blistering heat means bring lots of sunscreen and water, and rain brings out the infamous mud in the valley, so maybe pack some mud-kickers too. 

There are three sets of showers — on the east end of Main Street, in Gold Camping, and in Silver Camping — and porta-potties located all around the grounds. It's not a bad idea to pack your own roll of toilet paper alongside your rain boots.

A full lineup and more information about the weekend festival is available on the Country Thunder website, or by calling Monday through Friday at 1 (866) 388-0007.

And if you forget your cowboy hat, you can probably pick one up from one of the vendors on site — luckily for you. 

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