Sellout crowd surges to Sunfest for final day

They knew Tim McGraw was a massive draw even before they announced he was coming to Sunfest in August 2014.

After all, he’s produced one hit after another for years and continues to find his way regularly to the top of the country music charts.

Organizers were able to stand back for a bit and watch as wave after wave of fans came forward to reserve their seats to see him on Aug. 3.

So, it came as no surprise to anyone when Sunfest announced early Sunday that there were about 150 tickets left for that day’s show, causing a last minute flurry on the Internet to snap up the final precious few.

Sunday evening’s shows always get underway a bit earlier so Cassadee Pope led the way at 5:15, with a lively set that delighted her many supporters, even going down the stairs and dancing with the crowd.

She was followed by Aaron Pritchett at 7 p.m.

Pritchett, who now lives on Gabriola Island, performed his hits including Suntan City and his newest, Boat on the Water, and introduced his son Mason to an appreciative crowd.

He sang Let’s Get Rowdy and Hold My Beer, of course, but even included O Canada with the crowd joining in.

Then, it was time for McGraw to take the main stage to wind up Sunfest 2014. Adoring fans swarmed as close as they could to the stage in stage pit and party zone areas, jamming up to the fences and waving their arms.

The star lived up to his billing, performing many of his hits and current songs like Meanwhile, Back at Mama’s and Southern Girl to uproarious applause and walking out along the thrust stage to get up close and personal with his fans.

Even before the evening’s shows started there was plenty of buzz both on the site and off as country fans drooled over the announcement that superstar Keith Urban has signed on for Sunfest 2015.