Fans flock from as far as Florida for concert

Published 11:06 am Saturday, August 11, 2012

COURTLAND—The first stop on Justine Ferrari’s road trip was Friday’s Franklin-Southampton County Fair to see her 36th Hunter Hayes concert in one year.

The 19-year-old from Fairfax planned to make it to Hayes’ concert in Troy, Ohio, on Saturday and continue on to Norwalk, Ohio, for the country singer’s Monday show. Four more stops follow, including Iowa.

“He’s awesome and every show is different,” Ferrari said. “He’s better live than on his CD.”

Known as the Justin Bieber of country music, Hayes drew a younger crowd to Friday’s show. Some reportedly came from as far as Florida and Pennsylvania, arriving 12 hours before the show, fair officials said.

Named the 2012 Teen Choice Male Country Artist for his hit, “Storm Warning,” Hayes was the reason Carlee Snyder came to Courtland from her home in Northern Virginia. The 16-year-old planted herself against the front of the Main Stage five hours before the show. It was her fourth time to see Hayes.

“Love makes me do it,” said Snyder, taking the quote from one of Hayes’ songs.

Snyder made a pink sign for the 20-year-old songwriter and decorated a flyswatter with his logo.

She paid $60 to personally meet him in Richmond and plans to spend another $80 to meet him at a concert in Baltimore on Sept. 7.

“He’s such a beautiful person inside and out,” Snyder said. “He’s so down to earth.”

Taylor Catling drove six hours from South Jersey to see Hayes for her 20th time in one year. The 20-year-old has gone as far as Indiana for his shows.

Rachel Baugham of Boykins was joined at the concert by her East Carolina University roommates Melissa Kuhns of Raleigh, N.C., and Allie Efting of Wilmington, N.C. The 20-year-olds were at the fairgrounds five hours before the concert and were treated to a warm-up by Hayes.

“We love Hunter Hayes,” Baugham said. “I really like his music.”