Inaugural Festival

Greg Fischer Editor-in-chief
Artist Sam Hunt slaps hands with his fans in the crowd during his performance.

Despite warnings from approaching Hurricane Nate over the weekend, Ascension Parish's first big-name music festival was held at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center.

Saturday's setback was unfortunate. Sources say it was ultimately Governor Edwards who called for the cancellation of the festival on Saturday, October 7. Originally, it was to be a two-day event. Despite rain early in the day on Saturday, the parish and Capitol Region was spared from Nate's path.

But "the show must go on."

Sunday's weather was beautiful, albeit hot. Headliner Sam Hunt rescheduled to play before Hank Williams Jr and needless to say, brought down the house. Hunt brought a lively vibe to stage. He even came down from the stage to sing practically inside the VIP area and also ran in between the crowd and slapped hands with fans.

Actually, all the artists were mentionable. Bands "A Thousand Horses" and "Blackberry Smoke" brought a heavy dose of rock-n-roll to the country music festival. Music enthusiasts might even be safe to call Flambeau Fest a country/rock hybrid since Lynyrd Skynyrd was Sunday's headliner.

The Torch Stage held its own and featured local Denham Springs artist Chase Tyler, who brings a heavier sound to country music as well.

Hank Jr. was awesome. Did anyone notice how many times he changed his hat though? At least four times. He started the set with a cap that read "ICON," then he went into a bit about how he's not an icon and put on more of a cowboy hat.

Later in the show he sat down acoustically for a medley with fan favs such as "Outlaw Women" and "All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down)."

Lynyrd Skynyrd came in after the sun went down to wrap it up. They played most of their hits and kept the crowd involved.

The songwriter's tent was a real treat, by the way. Crystal Day put on a lively show. If anyone skipped it, just know they had air-conditioner running. An absolute treat for real music nerds was the trio of Greg Barnhill, Joanna Cotten and Dennis Matkosky. Those three have written more hits than you can shake a stick at.

Prayers for all the victims of the Las Vegas shooting last week. Ascension Parish was blessed to hold their own festival so close in time to that event, and it was a success.

To see more photos from the festival click here.