WE Fest is back! Kickoff party set for Wednesday night at Soo Pass

WE Fest 2021 is nearly here. Starting with a Wednesday night kickoff party, Detroit Lakes' Soo Pass Ranch will be welcoming back country music fans from all over the globe for three full days of live music, Thursday through Saturday. Take a sneak peek at all the music coming to this weekend's festival.

Florida Georgia Line 2018.jpg
Florida Georgia Line amped up the pyrotechnics for their headlining set at WE Fest 2018, which featured fan favorites like "Meant to Be" and "Cruise." The band returns to headline the 2021 festival's opening night on Thursday, Aug. 5. (Photo by Townsquare Media)

For the first time since 2019, Detroit Lakes' Soo Pass Ranch will be welcoming back thousands of country music fans to WE Fest.

The 37th annual event takes place this Thursday through Saturday, Aug. 5-7, though the festivities officially begin with a Wednesday night kickoff party.

Want a look (and listen) at some of this year's performers? Read on.

Wednesday, Aug. 4

Performers at the Wednesday Night Kickoff Party, which starts at 6:30 p.m., will include Shane Martin at 7:30 p.m., TripWire at 9:30 p.m., and The Cadillac Three at 11:30 p.m.


All three performances will take place at the Barn Stage. It’s a cosplay party, so attendees are welcome to dress as their favorite country music star. There will be prizes for the best male and female look-alikes.

Thursday, Aug. 5

Thursday's Main Stage lineup includes After Midtown at 2:45 p.m., Ingrid Andress at 4 p.m., The Cadillac Three at 6 p.m., Russell Dickerson at 8:15 p.m. and headliners Florida Georgia Line at 10:30 p.m. The emcee for all the Main Stage performances this year is singer and actress Kellie Pickler .

Meanwhile, over at the Barn Stage, recent Bash on the Beach standouts Slamabama will perform at 9:30 p.m., and Larry Fleet will perform a second set at 12:30 a.m. The String Showdown will also be performing twice on the Saloon Stage, at 7 and 9 p.m.


Last but not least, WE Fest Karaoke Contest winners will be showcased on both the Barn Stage at 5:30 p.m. and the Main Stage at 7:30 p.m., during all three days of the festival. Karaoke showcase performers will include 2011 winner Shane Parsons on Thursday, 2009 winner Cassandra Jopp Ronnie on Friday, and 2002/2007 winner Mia Dorr on Saturday.

Friday, Aug. 6

Friday's Main Stage lineup features Shy Carter at 2:45 p.m., High Valley at 4 p.m., Lindsay Ell at 6 p.m., LANCO at 8:15 p.m. and headliner Dierks Bentley at 10:30 p.m.


Barn Stage performers will include local favorites 32 Below at 9:30 p.m., and Shy Carter at 12:30 a.m. Mike Oregano will perform twice on the Saloon Stage, at 7 and 9 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 7

Saturday's Main Stage lineup starts with Kameron Marlowe at 2:45 p.m., followed by RaeLynn at 4 p.m., Maddie & Tae at 6 p.m., the Eli Young Band at 8:15 p.m. and headliner Blake Shelton at 10:30 p.m. There will also be a Grand Finale fireworks display immediately after Shelton's performance.


Barn Stage performers will include Erin Grand at 9:30 p.m. and Kameron Marlowe at 12:30 a.m., while the Saloon Stage will feature the Stefan Geisinger Band at both 7 and 9 p.m.

Beyond the music

Yes, the main attraction is the music, but WE Fest organizers are making sure that guests have fun beyond the stages, too. Here are a few non-musical things guests can look forward to during the festival:

  • Campground Parties: The theme for this year’s decoration contest is “I Love My Country!” Have the best WE Fest campsite? Prove it by posting your photo using #K102WeFest and tagging @coorslight and you could win the ultimate Coors camping package!
  • The Trading Post merchandise and craft market will open early each day for “Shoppy Hour.”
  • The competitive WE Fest Baggo Tournament, sponsored by Miller Lite.
  • If you like to keep it close to the ground, jump on the mechanical bull.
  • Still up in the air about what to do? Take a helicopter ride!

Single-day tickets for WE Fest start at $99; ticket and camping packages are available at .

Sheriff's deputies to be on site throughout festival

The Becker County Sheriff's Office will be setting up a command post on the WE Fest grounds near the East Gate, off County Road 22, to handle any public safety issues that arise during the festival.


Deputies will be working with event security and be available 24-hours a day from Wednesday afternoon to Sunday.

"Number one, read and follow the directions that (WE Fest event organizers) give you," said Becker County Sheriff Todd Glander. "Plan ahead because there is always going to be a certain amount of waiting once (concertgoers) get here and I'm asking everybody to be safe, no matter what they are doing, just be safe."

Glander said his deputies will be actively patrolling the concert, campgrounds, and nearby roads throughout the concert weekend.

Tribune reporter Michael Achterling contributed information for this story.

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