R.I.S.E Up Foundation – Splash Into Country Event

September 30, 2022

Earlier this month the R.I.S.E Up Foundation hosted an eventful country music festival at the beautiful lakeside, Petersen Park. Themed, “Splash into Country,” there were live performances by Brad Paisley, Chris Lane, Dustin Lynch, Dylan Scott, Ernest and Zach Miller– and of course, I had the pleasure of capturing it all! The R.I.S.E Up Foundation hosted this event to raise funding for projects specifically focused on enhancing the quality of life for families in McHenry, IL. Just completed this week, was our splash pad, which was funded by last year’s event! This year’s event was focused on one project: Providing funds for improvements at Miller Pointe (Right across from my studio). The R.I.S.E Up Foundation is dedicated to turning Miller Pointe into the premier community destination for economic development, community gatherings and family entertainment.

We kicked off the event on Friday night with live performances by Dustin Lynch, Dylan Scott, and Zach Miller. Talk about an amazing show and each artist put on an amazing performance. I was lucky enough to do meet and greet photos with Dylan Scott this night (and also Chris Lane and Ernest on Saturday), and it was great to see him again, as he performed here in McHenry back on 2019 for our McHenry Fiesta Days event.

We continued the weekend festivities into Saturday, which also happened to be International Country Music Day (how fitting). We were graced with even more live performances from Ernest, Chris Lane, and a splashing performance by Brad Paisley (literally)! You had to be there to understand, but if you were or heard, it DOWNPOURED. Nearly 8,000 people came out on Saturday night and barely any left when the rain hit. The show did delay for 20 minutes, but Brad got back on and crushed the rest of his performance. It was cool to see people who traveled in from all of Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Kansas, Colorado and more! I knew this because on top of shooting the event, I also volunteered and was doing will-call and 21+ wrist banding (I like to stay busy, can you tell?). Nearby hotels like The Holiday Inn-Crystal Lake, Hampton Inn-McHenry and Waterfront Hotel & Marina-Johnsburg were completely booked and some of the celebrity guests even supported local businesses like Fitness 120, Rocco Music and Antioch Pizza McHenry.  This was a great opportunity for The City of McHenry, McHenry’s Chamber of Commerce and Naturally McHenry County as it bought in good tourism for the town.

I’m blessed to be called “McHenry County’s Photographer” and that I’m given amazing opportunities like this year after year. Seeing photos and videos I shot from last year on CBS Chicago and having the artists comment on my posts makes me so extremely proud of myself! It was not easy to get to this level, but I’m grateful for where my career has taken me and how my hard work has paid off. I’ve volunteered many hours in the past in our community to get my name out there, which lead me to be asked over others and I’ve seen where these types of shoots can build my business / and how they impact others, so despite little sleep and a lot of work, I know these things all have extreme rewards. I look forward to next year and seeing what other amazing acts we bring to our town and continue the growth and development of my amazing hometown.

Written by Neicka Scott, Intern at K-Adams Foto

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