Faster Horses Festival succeeds in growing fan attendance


Over 50,000 attended the Faster Horses music festival in Brooklyn on July 15-17.

Faster Horses continues to grow larger every year since its first season crowd of 20,000 arrived at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) in 2013, with more than double the numbers attending this year. Festival promoters said that while final numbers aren’t in yet, they expect to surpass last year’s attendance of 40,000. 

Country music fans packed the area in and around MIS in Brooklyn each day during the festival July 15-17, gathering to listen to long-time favorites such as Alan Jackson, Travis Tritt, Jason Aldean and Lady Antebellum, as well as relative newbies Tara Thompson, Ryan Hurd and Runaway June. In all, 36 acts belted out their songs over a three-day tribute to the U.S.A. via American flags, cowboy boots, beer and camaraderie.

Except for some wind and the occasional threat of rain, this 4th year of the festival was graced with weather suitable for a weekend of standing elbow-to-elbow with sunburned compadres. Besides the music, the venue supplied plenty of options, including a campfire Thursday night for early birds, a 2-mile fun run Saturday morning, a Made in Michigan section in the vendor area, human foosball, beach volleyball, a giant waterslide, a Ferris wheel, and a vertigo swing set, among other attractions.

Simone Mullins and her friend Barb Norsworthy, both residents of Raisin Township, attended the Thursday night campfire kickoff and all three days of the festival. “I loved the music,” Mullins said, “It was very well organized.”

Mullins said she enjoyed the variety of vendors and food, and had fun watching people play life-sized games like Connect Four. She was pleased with the atmosphere overall. “I expected it to be more rowdy, and it really wasn’t. It was a very laid-back atmosphere.”

Attendees had the opportunity to buy cowboy boots and country apparel along with other wares, and a general store supplied the necessities, especially helpful for the people camping in one of the 15 camping areas dispersed around the grounds. A campsite contest with a luau theme inspired some creative competition. One site featured a beer keg shower that the site owners rented out, charging one beer in payment for one shower.

Michigan breweries were well-represented at the event, as Arbor Brewing Company, New Holland, North Peak Brewery, Grand River Brewery, Griffinclaw, Bell’s, Dark Horse, Short’s, Rochester Mills, Right Brain Brewery, Perrin Brewing Company, Dragonmead, Saugatuck Brewing Company and Founder’s brought at least two choices from their inventories.

On Sunday before the final main stage headliner Lady Antebellum performed, Faster Horses announced it would return July 21-23 next year at MIS for the fifth time.

For Mullins, who had never experienced a Faster Horses Festival before, the weekend was one to remember. “The people were great,” she said, “This was my first year. I’ll definitely go again.”


Tecumseh Herald


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