By working at GNA, I'm experiencing a lot of firsts for myself. Growing up, Country music wasn't what I was surrounded by. In fact, I was surrounded by almost everything else - with the occasional Garth Brooks "Friends in Low Places" or Shania "Man, I Feel Like a Woman" blasting over my parents speakers. Then fast forward to 2016 and here I am diving head first into a pool of country fun!

This past Sunday was my very first Taste of Country Music Festival. From what I've heard, I missed some of the stuff I really needed to witness to get the full experience (stuff I probably shouldn't write about, but if you've been I'm sure you can take a guess.) Also, had the weather been better, I'm pretty sure I would've seen a lot more of the crazy behavior I would've expected! That being said, it didn't deter me from a good time AT ALL.

Bethany joined me on my road trip to Hunter Mountain and live broadcast. We get plenty of hang time, but I rarely get to have anyone on the air with me, which I always love to do so this was the perfect opportunity.

TOCMF - Neal McCoy, Facebook

We had a few interviews throughout the afternoon, which I'll post up in an additional article, so be on the look out for that. Neal McCoy was the first of them and I mean, I may have fallen for him during the interview but afterward when he told me I looked like a high school intern, I'm pretty sure we're getting married. I could be wrong. But, there was a connection and I think he felt it, too.

TOCMF - Me, of course

Bethany and I bounced around out in the crowd a bit and checked out the vendors - because food. We took a few to think about what we were actually going to feed our faces with and then interviewed Chris Janson while we mulled it over. What you don't see behind the scenes at stuff like this is the artists "people" going from booth to booth saying things like, "okay, who's doing the interview? you? okay, you're going to have 3 minutes. Watch for my wrap up sign...we'll bring him over in just a second." I wish someone just walked me around and said "here, do this." Or maybe I wouldn't.

The interview was fun and obviously boat related. How does one not ask the guy who sings "Buy Me a Boat" about boats? Does he have one yet? Can he afford the one he wants? How about a bath tub boat?

TOCMF - Marissa and Bethany inerview Chris Janson

After interviewing Chris it was pretty obvious what Bethany and I were going to eat for lunch.

TOCMF - Boat Food

Gary Allan was next on our interview list and turns out he ran into some trouble. There was a bus off the side of the road it sounded like and the police almost didn't let Gary pass to get to Hunter Mountain. So, I asked him, "Did you said 'Do you know who I am?!'" and no, he didn't....his manager did instead. Good man!

TOCMF - On Stage

We had some time after this so we tried to get in some of the festival experience even though it was brisk! The winds were a little crazy and I wouldn't have been surprised for a second if it flurried even a little. I didn't, by the way. Just a few minor sprinkles which didn't seem to dampen anyones concert festival experience.

TOCMF - Marissa and Bethany with Jake Owen

Our last piece of our Taste of Country Music Festival Sunday experience was heading, single file with the other radio stations on site through every back hall of the loft we were all set up in to get to Jake Owens dressing room. That's where the interviews were being held. It was more like a living room with a dressing room how it was set up with couches and tvs and comfort. With the tragedy in Orlando and knowing Jake is a proud Floridian, we planned to ask him his thoughts but were asked to stray away from it. It felt weird not asking him, but it's better to respect their wishes than feel like you're not doing your job 1000%.

Overall, for my first Taste of Country Music Festival experience it was pretty freakin' cool. I definitely am thankful for Bethany tagging along and showing me the ropes of where to go and what to do. Not that I can't handle a live broadcast 'cause I've done plenty of those, but I'm definitely directionally challenged!!!

Now, lets get ready for Counrtyfest 2016!