Feb 27, 2019
The Definitive Guide to Craven Country Thunder from your Regina Hotel
Get ready to pack your best pair of cowboy boots, cut-offs, and that 10-gallon Stetson that has been sitting in your closet waiting for such an event as the best and biggest country music festival in Saskatchewan. Held over four days the second week of July, the Country Thunder Music Festival in Craven, SK features some of the biggest stars in country music today. Book your tickets now and use the Comfort Suites Regina hotel as your base and prepare for a week of great tunes and boot-stompin’ fun.
Guide Quick Links
The country music festival was founded in 1983 by Father Lucien Larre, as a fundraiser for his Bosco Homes for troubled youth. The jamboree, originally the "Big Valley Jamboree", once drew audiences of up to 50,000 people to Craven, making it one of the most significant country music festivals on the international scene.
In 1993 the Big Valley Jamboree was taken over by an Alberta company, and the Big Valley Jamboree was moved to Camrose, Alberta, where it remains to this day.
Meanwhile, a successor festival, Kinsmen Rock’N the Valley Festival, ran until the country roots resurfaced in 2005 with the start of the Craven Country Jamboree.
In October of 2016, the Craven Country Jamboree was taken over by Country Thunder, which holds country music festivals in five different markets around North America, including: Florence, AZ; Twin Lakes, Wisconsin; Calgary, Alberta; Kissimmee, Florida; and Craven, Saskatchewan.
The first Country Thunder Festival in Craven was held in 2017 and featured performances by Blake Shelton, Toby Keith and Keith Urban.
The 2019 Craven Country Thunder festival, which runs July 11 - 14, is expected to be a barnburner with an exciting lineup that includes headliners:
Also in the performance lineup is Terri Clark, Gord Bamford, Steve Earle and the Dukes, Lonestar, Travis Tritt, Shawn Austin, The Reklaws, Meghan Patrick, The Road Hammers, JoJo Mason, Hunter Brothers, Madeline Merlo, Jimmie Allen, and Williams & Lee.
Welcome to the Qu’Appelle Valley
Located 38 kilometres north of Regina, Craven is a small village just southeast of Last Mountain Lake, a popular beach and resort area within the northern part of the picturesque Qu’Appelle Valley. Founded in 1882 under its original name Sussex, the village was later renamed Craven and moved to its current townsite on the Qu’Appelle River.
It’s an easy 30-kilometre drive from our Regina accommodations to Country Thunder. From Highway 11 (Louis Riel Trail), head north towards Lumsden and then turn east at the junction with Highway 20. This will take you directly to the festival site in Craven.Free shuttle transportation is also available between Northgate Mall, which is only 4.3 kilometres from our accommodations in Regina, and Craven for all four days of the festival. See the shuttle schedule for details.
What to Bring
When packing for Country Thunder, it’s important to note there is a strict bag policy for those entering the festival grounds. All personal belongings must be placed in a clear bag that measures up to 14 x 17 x 6 inches. This includes standard one-gallon disposable freezer bags and small clutch purses no larger than 4.5” x 6.5”. Clear bags are available at the festival info booth while supplies last, with a limit of one bag per person.
You may also want to bring:
- A blanket or foldable lawn chair
- Fanny pack
- Non-professional camera
- An unopened bottle of water (one per person)
- A jacket or hoodie
- Rain jacket and/or rain boots
Prohibited items include:
- Large purses
- Camera bags
- Glass containers, bottles, cans
- Thermoses and other beverage containers
- Selfie sticks and professional cameras
For a complete list of allowed and prohibited items, visit festival info.
Things to See, Do and Experience
At the festival:
Besides singing and dancing along to some of country’s best artists, who’ll be performing on the Main Stage, the festival also features:
- A beer garden
- Main Street with food vendors and artist merchandise booths
- Bull riding
- Washroom and shower facilities
- First-aid tent
- Disabled parking and seating
- Information booth
Near the festival site:
- Sip some Prairie Rhubarb wine or enjoy a homemade dessert on the patio overlooking the Qu’Appelle Valley at Over the Hill Orchards and Winery, 12.7 kilometres south of the festival site near Lumsden.
- Sail through the air on a ziplining adventure and get a bird’s eye view of the beautiful Qu’Appelle at Outdoor Edge Adventure Park, just 2.5 kilometres north of the Country Thunder festival site. You can also test your skills on the climbing wall.
- Take a self-guided tour of Last Mountain House Provincial Historic Park. Located 17.5 kilometres north of Country Thunder on the east shore of Last Mountain Lake, this historic site was originally built by the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1869 as a winter outpost and features reconstructed trading post buildings, artifacts and exhibits.
- Check out the community of Regina Beach. A popular spot for Regina residents looking to escape the city in summer, Regina Beach is just 25 kilometres north of Craven on the west shore of Last Mountain Lake. The town has a couple of restaurants, 18-hole and mini-golf courses, grocery store, gift shops, a yacht club and cultural and recreation centres. The Regina Beach Recreational Site offers a sand beach and swimming area along with a picnic area, playground, beach volleyball court, boat launch, and service centre.
- Visit Saskatchewan’s first micro-distillery, where you can savour a dram of apple pie moonshine or pucker up to some dill pickle vodka. Last Mountain Distillery in nearby Lumsden offers both tours and tastings. Just remember that you cannot bring bottles back to the festival site.
Ways to Engage
Country Thunder offers an Official App available on the App Store and Google Play that has the latest news on all of the Country Thunder music festivals in the US and Canada. Choose which festival you are planning to attend and receive up-to-date news, schedules, festival information, and more. You can also earn reward points to be redeemed at the festival.
The latest updates on Country Thunder are also available on:
As the closest hotel in Regina to Country Thunder, the Comfort Suites makes it easy for festival attendees to stay nearby before, during or after the event. Rest up in our clean, comfortable and well-appointed suites, which can sleep up to six guests each and can also accommodate your four-legged family members. We also offer an Accessible King Suite.
All of our Regina hotel suites offer in-room amenities, including fridge, microwave, large desk and charging station, free fibre optic internet and Wi-Fi, and controllable AC. Our hotel facilities also include:
- Complimentary hot breakfast buffet
- Indoor waterpark with Kids Splash Zone, 40-ft. waterslide with separate landing tube, lap pool and hot tub
- 24-hour cardio centre
Those who purchase a four-day wristband to Country Thunder can also access camping for all four days of the festival. Tent and RV sites are available on the Country Thunder Saskatchewan Grounds and include one vehicle pass. An overnight parking pass must be purchased for additional vehicles.
Tickets to Country Thunder Saskatchewan are available in reserved and general admission (lawn, BYO-blanket or chair) seating. Choose from four-day weekend passes or single-day passes, as well as gold, silver, tent and family camping and extra vehicle parking.
Platinum weekend reserved seating passes are also available, which allow access to an exclusive lounge area, flushable restrooms, as well as private food and beverage options.
The Comfort Suites Regina is a pet-friendly hotel with a hot tub, pool and waterslide, fitness room, and other facilities to suit all travellers. See why we are a well-reviewed TripAdvisor hotel and are named one of the best places to stay in Regina, Saskatchewan.