Finding that amazing site with its high cliffs and the Coldwater River conveniently winding through was only the first great stroke of luck for the festival. The last 15 years, especially the 1990s, also coincided with the biggest, most lucrative spike of popularity country music has ever known.
These were the days, after all, Garth Brooks completely reinvented the genre and found a massive audience with deep pockets nobody else had sussed out. Mountainfest was there all along, presenting newbie acts like Toby Keith and the Dixie Chicks along with more established people like Brooks & Dunn, Pam Tillis and Vince Gill.
Not to mention the older veterans like George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Merle, Johnny and June.
This year it all continues with the likes of Gretchen Wilson and the Road Hammers on Thursday, Johnny Reid, followed by Nashville's newest hottie, Carrie Underwood, before Reba McEntire finishes off Friday plus Jamie O'Neal, Emerson Drive and Creedence Clearwater Revisited Saturday, all topped with Kenny Hess and Tanya Tucker on Sunday.
If you've been before - like our friends at JRfm - this is the year to come back, and if you've always meant to check out the world-famous festival that put little Merritt on the map, dude, this thing's been 15 years in the making.