MILL SPRING, N.C. (WSPA) – A three-day country music festival kicked off Thursday in Western North Carolina.

There was a huge crowd there on the first night. Most of the people 7NEWS spoke with said they were there to see Darius Rucker. The good news is the festival goes from Thursday through Saturday and there are still tickets available.

Music, dancing, loads of games and family fun is what the Night in the Country music festival brings to the table.

The festival is officially underway at the Tyron International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring. These ticket-holders are here for three days of country music.

“We are here to see Darius Rucker,” said Maggie McBrayer.

“I like Darius Rucker, Darius Rucker. But Dierks Bentley isn’t bad to look at. I know, I’m waiting for him on Saturday,” said Mikayla Wilson and Dawn Watson.

People say the crowds are even larger than last year’s.

“This is our second year. Yes, we came here the first year, awesome time, great music, friendly people,” said Dawn Watson.

Travis Crowder, the event’s CEO, said they expect up to 6,000 people.

“Not only is it a great festival, but it really does what I think a lot of people are looking for, which is an out,” said Crowder. “People are looking for something to do, something to really have a good time and forget about your worries for at least a couple days.”

He said the event started over 20 years ago in Nevada and he’s proud to bring it to the foothills of Western North Carolina.

“It’s a very magical place, for sure, and so, we’ve been working on it pretty much year-round,” he said.

None of this would be possible without staff, a willing venue and great performers.

“You’ve got a line-up that includes Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Jon Pardi and about 11 others that are going to be here putting on a great show,” said Crowder.

Crowder said a big part of his job is keeping these festival-goers safe.

“You’ll see that presence everywhere, all the way through all emergency services. So, we’ve got EMTs, ambulatory services. We’ve got, of course, law enforcement all over. Private security all over,” he said.

On top of music, there are restaurants, craft beer, activities and evening entertainment and there are empty seats up for grabs.

“Night in the Country, 2022, wahoo!” said Mikayla Wilson and Dawn Watson.

Darius Rucker performed Thursday night, Jon Pardi will be performing Friday night and Dierks Bentley is headlining Saturday. To purchase tickets, click here.