Night in the Country Music Festival: A First-Timer’s Guide
Camping, country tunes, and crazy times rule at annual event.
BY CARRIE ROUSSEL
If you love country music and you live in Nevada, you’ve probably already heard about northern Nevada’s Night in the Country Music Festival (NITC). For those not yet in the know, hang on to your hats, because we’re here to fill you in.
The three-day music festival started in 2002 with just 900 attendees and has grown every year since. With an expected crowd of more than 30,000 fans this year, NITC is once again slated to be Nevada’s second largest rural event behind Burning Man; it’s also the longest-running country music festival in Nevada, attracting visitors from more than 36 states. The 2016 event is July 21-23 and will again be held at the Lyon County Fairgrounds in Yerington. The festival is produced by the Boys & Girls Club of Mason Valley and is the organization’s largest fundraiser.
The story below was written for our July/August 2015 issue. Check the Night in the Country website for this year’s lineup.
This year’s event will offer up its biggest music lineup ever, so you won’t want to miss a moment. Check out these tips on how to make your night in the country perfect.
The kick-off party starts at 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 23, at the Full Moon Saloon—the event’s second stage—which also hosts the all-night after party for those willing and able to play until the sun comes up.
Five acts will take the main stage each night this year. Music starts at 4 p.m. with opening acts that include Parmalee, Old Dominion, Joe Nichols, and more. The crowd is sure to be revved and ready for Friday night’s headliner The Band Perry and Saturday night’s Jake Owen. So y’all better be ready for a “barefoot blue jean night.”
Tickets range from two-day general admission to Superfan, VIP, and Club 149 options, each with perks; the best offers include access to an air-conditioned tent serving gourmet food and drinks with the possibility of meeting every band member and artist on the bill.
Mid-July in northern Nevada is absolutely perfect for an outdoor country music festival and cut-off jean shorts. Evenings cool to perfection, and if you’re dancing up a storm you’re sure to keep plenty warm. Daytime temperatures can be toasty with that desert sun beating down, so stay well hydrated (we’re talking water here, folks), and find shelter in the shade of your campsite or a big hat.
Two camping options—the huge Party-Zone campground and the more reserved Quiet & Family campground—are available. Be warned; tickets and campsites sell like hotcakes on the open trail, so make sure to purchase early for 2016 (sales start onsite July 25 for those attending this year’s event with general online sales following not long after).
While this is definitely an adult event, it’s also kid friendly. The quiet-zone camping will let you get some shuteye between shows, and there’s enough room for kids to spin and twirl to the music. As with anything, keep a close eye on your little ones, ensure they have enough food and water to keep them powered up for the fun, and know that not everyone is watching out for youngsters. Many attendees await this annual event to let loose and get wild; it’s possible your kids may take in more than you imagined. If you are prepared for it, however, then break out the little cowboy boots and hats and get ready for the fun.
Mid-July in northern Nevada is absolutely perfect for an outdoor country music festival and cut-off jean shorts. Evenings cool to perfection, and if you’re dancing up a storm you’re sure to keep plenty warm. Daytime temperatures can be quite toasty with that desert sun beating down, so stay well hydrated (we’re talking water here, folks), and find shelter in the shade of your campsite or a big hat.
If you’re camping, bring supplies to last the weekend, but know that restaurants and grocery stores are available in Yerington and the locals welcome the boost to the economy. New this year, breakfast will be available to the general public at the Full Moon Saloon on Saturday morning from 9-11 a.m. Purchase includes a drink and a plate of hot breakfast food. Or, go the VIP ticket route and you get catered dinner from 4-8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, plus Rise & Shine breakfast on Saturday from 9-11 a.m.
• Extreme Bull Riding: noon until 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 25 (tickets sold separately but included in VIP package).
• Full Moon Saloon is the all-night party venue; don’t miss it!
• Showers, ice, food, and drinks for sale onsite.
1. When did the event start?
2. How far is Yerington from Reno?
3. From Las Vegas?
4. What was the first year camping was allowed?
5. What year did superstar Blake Shelton headline?
6. How much of the Boys and Girls Club of Mason Valley budget comes from NITC?
• Buy tickets early
• Reserve a campsite
• Follow NITC on Facebook for continuous updates and exciting news
• Settle in for the weekend and enjoy food and drinks, music, the best people-watching around, and some of the most amazing sunsets Nevada has to offer!
Night in the Country Music Festival
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Mason Valley
Trivia Answers: 1. 2002 2. 80 miles 3. 370 miles 4. 2007 5. 2010 6. 25 percent