In spite of rain moving the venue from the Laurel Cove amphitheater to the convention center at the Pine Mountain State Park lodge, this weekend's Laurel Cove Music Festival was a huge success.
Headlined on Friday by Arlo McKinley and the Lonesome Sound and on Saturday by John Moreland, the festival drew hundreds of fans to the park to see 21 acts take the stage. The festival was a joint venture between Bell County Tourism, Main Street Pineville and Pine Mountain State Resort Park.
“We were really excited about trying to have a festival at the Cove and hopefully we’ll have one soon down there," said Bell County Tourism Director Jon Grace, one of the event's organizers. "But as far as having a last-second venue change, this has gone off without a hitch. There are so many people that have helped to make it the way it is. I’m beyond appreciative of everybody that has helped to put this together."
Main Street Pineville executive director Jacob Roan was also pleased with how Friday and Saturday's event turned out.
“We were really worried after we saw the forecast earlier in the week, but we really pulled together," he said. "Jon Grace, I can’t say enough good things about him and Bell County Tourism, Rita Edmondson and the Pine Mountain State Park staff have gone above and beyond to accommodate us and make sure we had a smooth transition. Also, Sanctuary Sound who handled all of our staging and lighting, they worked until about 3 in the morning on Friday to get everything ready.
"It has been an excellent show of support from the community and from people outside of Pineville. We have tourists from Georgia, Florida, Wisconsin, and Canada that are all here in Pineville this weekend and staying in Middlesboro and Pineville. All of Bell County is really benefiting from this. Even here in the conference center we’ve had crowds of over 400 people. We know it would have been a huge success in the Cove, but we made due with what we have and it’s been above our expectations.
Friday's lineup included Chris Blake, Jordan King, Lauren Beeler, Brandon Fulson, Charlie Woods & Deep Hollow, Tiffany Williams, Blake Berglund & Belle Plaine, Nicholas Jamerson, Justin Wells, and Arlo McKinley & the Lonesome Sound. Saturday's concerts included Dalton Mills, Dave Shoemaker, Tyler Smith & the Still Runners, John Clay, Coby Langham, Eric Bolander, Luna & the Mountain Jets, John R. Miller & the Engine Lights, Josh Morningstar, The Wooks, and John Moreland.
“We had a great crowd (Friday) night and we’re having another one tonight," Grace said on Saturday evening. "We’ve got eight different states represented here with people as far away as Wisconsin and I’ve had nothing but good things said to me so far so it’s been fantastic.