Prediction: 5 Acts You’ll Hear A Lot More Of After Wildwood’s Barefoot Fest
The biggest country music festival ever in South Jersey has come to an end, and already we're looking to next June when Barefoot returns to the Wildwood Beach once again!
(By the way, the first Barefoot Country Music Fest was originally scheduled for June of 2020 but was canceled thanks to COVID. Then Fest was then scheduled for June of 2021 before being pushed back again. I think we can count on Barefoot staying on a June schedule from now on - which means much fewer chances of hurricanes in the area.)
I was very impressed with the talent at this year's festival, especially considering a number of singers and bands are still on the sidelines, waiting for COVID restrictions to lessen even more.
Here are my picks for artists at this year's Barefoot Fest that we're going to see more and more of in country music in the future.
1. Jon Pardi
What an energetic and fun show he put on Saturday night! Pardi already has a long string of radio hits, and he's knocking on the door of superstardom. That door to the top level of country performers should be opening soon.
2. Jimmie Allen
Jimmie ended up playing on the main stage at Barefoot twice! He played his scheduled Saturday evening show, but also jumped in Friday when Billy Currington did not appear. (NOTE: I don't know what happened with Billy Currington.) Allen did not disappoint.
He's a showman, an entertainer - and one heck of a singer. As he gets more hits under his belt, he'll keep moving up the country performer popularity list. (PS.... we just love him!)
3. Ingrid Andress
Ingrid played the big stage Saturday afternoon and was great! What great stage presence and command of the audience. Her storytelling around her songs was great, only to be exceeded by her wonderful voice.
Andress admitted to Jahna and me on the Cat Country Morning Show last week that she really hasn't played in front of big crowds much. She's still very new. When she broke on the national scene last year, she didn't get a chance to tour much due to COVID. She's out now, and I think her star is rising.
4. Carolyn Miller
Carolyn played a number of times at the festival and even sang a few songs on our Cat Country stage on Sunday. The Long Island, New York native has a sensational voice, which was on display when she sang the National Anthem at Barefoot. She's opening up for a lot of bigger acts around the country, and I expect we'll all be hearing a lot more of her soon.
5. Jessica Rose
Jessica and her band were one of the winners of our Cat Country Rising Stars Competition this summer and got to play Barefoot Sunday afternoon. She's got the voice and the stage presence to move forward quickly. She also has that "it factor" that should help open her up to a national audience very soon.