This weekend marks the 23rd annual Country Thunder Music Festival in Twin Lakes. Hundreds were in position Thursday morning after spending the first night under the stars.
It was a chilly morning for the middle of July. The brisk morning air waking people up sooner than they expected. Especially, for folks who went to sleep just a few hours before.
"I'm having a blast," Josh Conour of Island Lake, Ill. said. "Loved the first night doing set up. We got in at eight o'clock getting everything prepped for the next coming days."
Conour joined his brother and friends this year for his first Country Thunder. As much as he's looking forward to the music and partying, it's about the moments he's making too.
"Hanging with my friends," Conour said. "Sharing the memories."
The beer cans strewn about several campsites make it seem as more memories will be lost than had, but one thing festival goers won't forget is the weather from last year.
"It rained a lot," Zac Mirabelli of Chicago said. "It was muddy out here."
"It was very hot and very wet," TJ Etherton of Illinois said. "It was raining for two of the nights and just walking through here was like a mud pit."
"Last year, I was knee deep in the mud," Kayla said. "I lost shoes in the mud. It was awful, but this year doesn't look much better."
The forecast has chances of rain every day at the festival. It shouldn't be as heavy as last year but is sure to make the field where campers are staying very slick and muddy. But Kayla has learned from her mistakes.
"I brought a roll of duct tape to duct tape my shoes to my feet so when I'm knee deep trying to get into concerts, I'll be fine," Kayla said. "I have lots of shoes, lots of socks and prepared for any weather. I can't wait.
The festival runs through Sunday. For more information, click here.