Country Thunder fans from across the Valley were out in droves Saturday night to attend the Country Thunder Launch Fest, located in a grass field adjacent to the Tempe Center for the Arts. The first annual Launch Fest was established to announce the lineup for next spring's Country Thunder, provide live music, and tide over Country Thunder fiends eagerly awaiting April to arrive so they can binge on four days of two-stepping, flannel cleavage, double-fisting beers, cowboy hats and Jack Daniel's.
Shortly after 7 o'clock, Country Thunder sponsors from 107.9 KMLE walked on stage to announce the lineup. The video screens next to the main stage rolled a promotional clip showing three headlining artists: Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, and the Band Perry. With each name announced, the crowd roared to life, cheering on the artists on the screen. And that wasn't all of them.