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'Phenomenal' festival

More than 23,000 attended Fraser Valley's largest country music festival in Mission last week.

"The festival was absolutely fantastic," said Rockin River organizer and performer Kenny Hess. "I'm worn out."

Despite the cancellation of Saturday night's headline act, Rascal Flatts, everyone had a great time and most people Hess spoke with at the festival were more excited about seeing Randy Houser who was brought in at the last minute to close out the show.

"It was an insane amount of work," shared Hess, who had just a couple of days to find a replacement performer. "I talked to everyone and their agents."

Hess had seen Houser's shows before and said he was "almost" the first choice. A private jet was sent to pick up the country singer in Minneapolis to bring him to Mission. And in the end, all the work paid off.

"We pulled off magic to save the show," said Hess, noting there were few issues with the crowd. "Between Houser and Bamford, it was phenomenal."

Hess also enjoyed the performance by the Road Hammers. "Canada should be so proud of these artists. They are stars — international starts."

People really love what the festival is about, said Hess, adding when he was on stage, it seemed the crowd was more involved with the music than ever. "It was wonderful."

Mission Mounties confirmed there were few issues to deal with throughout the festival, which ran from Aug 7-9.

Police arrested two people Thursday night for excessive drunkenness. No other incidents were brought to their attention at the festival.

"From our perspective, it went well,"  said RCMP Sgt. Shaun Wright.

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