A herd of stage and production hands, a TV crew, one City street turned concert venue, hundreds of cans of chilled mountain beer and three country bands playing in front of a sea of cowboy hats are only a portion of what went into the making of One Horse Town — the one-night-only concert held in Lacombe by Coors Banquet and Country Music Television Canada (CMT).
While hundreds of Lacombe, Blackfalds and area residents, joined by hundreds of visitors, spent last Friday night enjoying the concert along 49 C Ave. in the shadow of the Flatiron Building and the Lacombe Hotel, an army of worker bees were moving around behind the scenes filming, organizing, securing and cracking open beers, all to make the one-time show in a one horse town happen without a hitch.
The set-up began days before the concert when the truck containing the stage rolled into town. Slowly crews began piecing together the stage, setting up the atmospheric props, like the giant Coors Banquet boot and then, placing the final touches on camera crews’ strategic locations around the venue.
While it was one night of fun for attendees, for many, the process began countless months before.
“Our network and Coors Banquet really partnered on this whole contest,” said Joel Stewart, director and producer of CMT’s in house TV production properties. “It’s been a two-year process to come to this.”
CMT and Coors Banquet received a staggering amount of applications for the One Horse Town concert experience from residents nation-wide, all suggesting why their town deserved a concert.
“This is the first time they’ve done a show like this,” said Paul McGuire, CMT TV host, of Coors Banquet’s One Horse Town concert series. “This is the launch of something I think they hope that will go on to travel to other small towns across North America.”
Stewart said the magic of One Horse Town is not only the concept but the proximity, digging deep into the hometown atmosphere.
“If I’m a 21-year-old fan of Tim Hicks, or if I’m a 22-year-old fan of the Road Hammers, I’ve probably driven to see them at Nashville North at the Stampede,” said Stewart. “We’ve all traveled to see music. So imagine that you don’t have to do that. You just have to go downtown and this thing is coming to you. It’s remarkable.”
“Maybe you are a little bit older and you are a 28-year-old fan with a young family and you live in Lacombe,” he said. “Now these two bands that you really love are coming to you and you can probably snag a babysitter. It’s a real treat and I think it shows a real enthusiasm on the part of not just the sponsors behind this or the TV station, but the artists as well because they are from small towns and they know these are their people. This is where the stories they sing about come from.”
Stewart added that part of what would make the concert and following TV program successful would be hometown pride.
“There is so much pride from everybody about this place,” he said. “It’s this place that’s going to make this unique. The whole City of Lacombe is behind this.”
Just to give an idea of the sheer man power behind the show, the TV crew filming the documentary boasts 18 members, with around 35 people in the concert production team, approximately 40 kinsmen volunteers, 15 Coors Banquet members, several Montana’s BBQ and Bar hands to ensure attendees are fed, many security officers and teamwork from the Lacombe Police Service to ensure everyone had a safe, enjoyable time.
Even after the stage was taken down and the street was brought back to its normal identity, the CMT production crew led by Stewart will be still hard at work in post-production to develop the one-hour TV special titled CMT Presents One Horse Town.
The program is scheduled to air on CMT on Nov. 6th.