About 7,500 country fans kicked up their heels at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds on Sunday, celebrating Santa Rosa's first "country music barbecue" with a lineup of top acts.
John Dayton and his family were there from Geyserville, cheering for local favorite Pete Stringfellow. The Piner High School graduate and rising country star is his wife's cousin, Dayton said.
"He has some great songs," Dayton said. "He can play on any instrument."
Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Thompson Square and McKenna Faith also performed.
Sunday's outdoor concert was the first country music event from producers of Sonoma County's counterculture Harmony Festival, who said they're trying new kinds of entertainment. The turnout showed there's a market.
"This could catch on," said Dayton. "A lot of folks are really into it."
Harmony Festival Presents was happy with its first foray into country music, said spokeswoman Adrienne Biggs.
"Harmony is about branching out and welcoming people," she said. "We were so happy to reach so many."
Fans crowded the stage for Bentley, a Country Music Association award winner who's had 14 hits on the country singles charts.
Bentley's "Am I The Only One?" was No. 4 on Billboard's country chart in recent weeks, while Bryan's "Country Girl (Shake It For Me)" was No. 7.
Newcomers Thompson Square, featuring husband and wife Keifer and Shawna Thompson, claimed No. 20 with "I Got You."
There were long lines on Sunday for beer, food and ATM machines.
Sonoma County's country fans have been missing big attractions since Konocti Harbor Resort in Lake County closed its doors. Konocti was a regular summer stop for country stars including Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts and Carrie Underwood.
Barbecued pork, chicken and beef were the top draws for food on Sunday, but there was a nod to the Harmony Fair with Lydia's Lovin' Foods, a purveyor of raw, vegan and organic fare.
The festival was initially scheduled on June 4, but was postponed until the end of summer when a gusty, wet storm swept through the region.
Country radio station Froggy 92.9 sponsored the event.
Sonoma County Deaf Community Facebook page: facebook.com/SOCODC