Red Fest 2014
What is Red Fest you might be asking yourself? Well only the greatest redneck festival in the world!!! (That I know of). Basically my fav little Texan Nicole aka Bus, texted me with 'Red Fest in May. Look it up and book your ticket here now!'. Country music, BBQ and excessive amounts of 'Murica pride??? Um yea soooo down! I packed my best USA gear and got my spray tanned butt on a plane.
Bus was working when I arrived so her husband picked me up with a 'Whaaaaaat are you serious Wendy?!?!' and a welcome lunch of Thundercloud. Bus came home soon after and we headed out to South Congress (my fav place in the city) for dinner at Hopdoddy then to check out the new Toms store/cafe- highlight being the porch swings outside where we sipped our drinks and got caught up. The night ended on a high note with my traditional photo shoot with Bogie- he's such a good little model.
The next day started with a hopeful trip to Franklins only to get our hopes crushed when we quickly realized that a line down the street and around the corner with people waiting in folding chairs with coolers, games and reading material was not a good sign. We were told we would get to eat around 3pm- it was only 10am. Ummm that would be a no. So we headed on over to Rudy's to get me my BBQ fix of the day. Then it was day 1 of Red Fest!!! It was storming a little which maybe accounted for the slow crowd. Poor Justin Moore played to a ton of empty seats (they should have pushed the start time later) but it filled up quickly with Lynyrd Skynyrd closing out the night- people were freaking out over them.
On our way out of the festival that night we walked by the Natty Light stage (shudder- oh the college memories) and witnessed the odd sight that is Big Smo. He is a country rapper. Country. Rapper. And he is dead serious. Lyrics like 'lookin' for a country gal with a lot 'a street smarts; spend a couple thousand of my money down at Wal-Mart' really go to show what you are getting when you listen to Big Smo. We hadn't heard of Big Smo until that morning at Rudy's but quickly became obsessed because it's just so odd to hear country rap from a giant guy who sounds like a frog so we sang along to his songs all day. Suffice it to say, when he finally came on stage barefoot, in camo, with an actual chain around his neck and carrying moonshine in one hand...we legit lost our minds because we could not believe it was real life. I will have to say that I am not a fan of country rap but props to Big Smo for making our night. Apologies to everyone who I have forced to listen to Big Smo against their will- I just wanted you to experience it like I did.
Day 2 of Red Fest is also known as the day my life changed forever. Why? Because my taste buds experienced the wondrousness that is Franklin Barbecue aka the best BBQ in the world aka the best meal ever aka I could die happy now after eating it. Bus' husband is amazing and got up suuuuper early to be in line by 6am for the 11am opening. We ladies got in some extra beauty sleep before meeting him there at 9 with some delicious donuts to help soften the blow of us joining him in line so close to opening time when everyone else had been there for hours. However they were unnecessary as no one wanted to spoil their appetite- and I soon realized why. It was spectacular. I giddily ordered my food and when I mentioned that I was from out of town, the server gave me an extra chunk of meat and said 'good luck'. Yea I did not even come close to finishing my plate but it made for some excellent leftovers.
Full of BBQ we happily made our way over to the festival where we met up with Meg and listened to some awesome music. The highlight for me that night was Tim McGraw- holy crap can that man put on a good performance. I was singing along so loud I was hoarse the next day. Plus I don't know what he's been doing for his workouts but he looks REAL good.
The third and final day was spent trying to take it all in. I walked all the different villages and made sure I had eaten everything that I had wanted to- more BBQ obvs. We listened to more great music and had some awesome seats close to the stage to watch Florida Georgia Line close out the festival.
After the festival, I decided to stick around for one extra day to extend the vacation as much as possible. Luckily for Dan and Bus that meant I got to spend their one year anniversary with them!! Because who doesn't want a third wheel to stick around and spend such a special day with you?!?! To celebrate their marriage we spent the day taking in some awesome views, getting cake pops, going to a movie at Alamo Drafthouse and finally by putting on our Franklin t-shirts and taking a group picture before they tasted their frozen wedding cake aka the love cake. Not weird at all- nope just me hangin' out in the middle of all their photos. Normal. Anyone want me to join them on their anniversary? Please let me know- I will bring matching t-shirts.
And now a last look at some of my favorite redneck moments...
It was awesome. I will be back next year for sure- 'Merica!