The eighth presentation of Rock the South brought another stellar lineup of musicians to Cullman, along with a two-day audience of about 65,000.

This year’s show was challenging as Rock the South moved to a larger venue on a more than 140-acres site outside the familiar confines of Heritage Park. By the time permitting was in place for the event, about five weeks remained to get ready.

Despite complaining from some fans, which Rock the South partners Shane Quick and Nathan Baugh always accept and look ahead, the new setting proved to be a good place for a large crowd. With so much land available, expanded camping areas were available, as well as a place for RVs. These were goals the promoters had been looking forward to for several years.

As expected, Friday produced some troubling traffic issues as many of the fans were arriving later in the day, many coming from Interstate 65 to the two-lane county roads. After some adjustments, Saturday was a smoother operation.

The dry weather conditions also produced a cloud of dust that lingered over the area, which was unexpected after past years of worrying over rain.

Problems aside, Rock the South again produced an economic impact felt to the positive by hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Local charities received thousands of dollars from the proceeds.

And for fans, top acts like Kid Rock, Brooks & Dunn, Florida Georgia Line and many others gave great, memorable performances. And if you are local, it was headlining entertainment right in your backyard.

Rock the South, for two days, provides an open door to Cullman from people all over the country and world. This exposure is valuable and positive words about the area return home with those visitors.

Quick has already promised “one of the hottest acts in the world” from the country scene will appear in 2020. Anticipation of the lineup of stars and rising stars draws attention from across the nation.

It’s important to remember that Rock the South is nationally recognized as one of the nation’s top venues for summer fun and great music.

Problems encountered this year are likely to be remedied by 2020. Baugh and Quick have always worked closely with county, city and state officials to make adjustments and ensure that Rock the South is an entertaining experience for thousands of people.

In the meantime, keep guessing who will appear next year on the stage. Each year has proven to be a crowd pleaser, and we’re certain 2020 will prove to be another blockbuster show that will make Cullman County proud.

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