Sunfest announces Keith Urban is 2015 headliner

A sizzling Sunfest Saturday wound up with Canadian superstar Dean Brody hitting the big main stage in front of a massive crowd.

After the cooler, cloudier weather of Friday night, the sun came back out, heating up the Cowichan Exhibition site even more as the audience settled in for a hot August night, sighing with relief as the sun set behind the mountains just in time.

Brody, who grew up in B.C., has just received six nominations for this year’s Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) awards.

He’s up for Single of the Year; Album of the Year and Songwriter of the Year as well as CMT (Country Music Television) Video of the Year and Male Artist of the Year.

In other words, he was riding high when he arrived in the Cowichan Valley and the crowd was ready for him. He started with Crop Circles, working his way through his list of hits.

Brody’s latest chartbuster is Another Man’s Gold but he’s also scored it big with Dirt and the crowd was singing along almost before he got started, and with such well known songs, everyone sang along from the get-go.

And before Brody got there, Blackjack Billy proved they were the perfect party band. They sang their hits and rounded out a great set with lively crowd sing-alongs to such varied tunes as No Woman No Cry and We’ve Got Stronger Beer before urging everyone to join them on a Booze Cruise.

Nobody needed a second invitation.

Another big surprise for the huge crowd was a drone camera that flew over the site, recording the action from above, looking for all the world like a miniature space ship and getting everyone’s attention.

Closing the big country music festival on Sunday night is the legendary Tim McGraw, who steps up around 9 p.m. with his recent hits Meanwhile, Back at Mama’s and Southern Girl and some of the rest of a roster of wonderful songs.

Leading the way for him are Aaron Pritchett and, at supper time, Cassadee Pope.

Only 300 or so tickets were left for Sunday’s big event, so if you’re planning to attend, consider taking the shuttle buses instead of trying to find parking at or near Exhibition Park.