Kassie and Jake Adams of North Liberty, Iowa, had one regret as they settled in Friday night at the Heartland Jam Country Music Festival in Davenport's Centennial Park.
"I wish we'd brought lawn chairs," Kassie said.
Although the couple were enjoying the music of country singer-songwriter Phil Vassar, they were more interested in Darius Rucker, who was set to cap off the night.
"We were hoping to see him in concert sometime this summer," Kassie said.
"And this is the closest he gets to us," Jake added.
The Hootie and the Blowfish lead singer-turned-country star was on Friday's lineup along with former "American Idol" contender Kellie Pickler, Vassar, singer-songwriter Chris Janson and singer Charissa Mrowka.
Scheduled today are country stars Rodney Atkins, Jerrod Niemann, Lauren Alaina, Katie Armiger and local act the Dani Lynn Howe Band.
Vassar, who has had eight top-10 country songs and written hits for Tim McGraw and Jo Dee Messina, is the lone returning national act this year.
"I love this town. We have so much fun here," Vassar said in a video interview with Jillene of WLLR radio.
"Looks like the happy hour crowd is here, baby," Vassar said as he entered the stage for his 6 p.m. set. During his 75-minute set, Vassar played his own hits such as "Just Another Day in Paradise" and "Six-Pack Summer," as well as covering the "Grease" tune "Summer Nights," the Proclaimers' "(I'm Gonna Be) 500 Miles" and Billy Joel's "Piano Man."
While the temperatures remained in the upper 90s throughout Vassar's set, the weather shifted from sunny and cloudless to a shroud of darkness.
Personnel in the Genesis Health Systems tent said no one had to be treated for effects from the heat.
Get news headlines sent daily to your inbox
This is the second year for the Heartland Jam, a benefit concert for the Loren Arp Memorial Foundation, which assists with the financial needs of families with children in the burn unit at University Hospitals, Iowa City. Arp, a longtime Davenport physical therapist and farmer, died in 2010 from burns suffered in a combine explosion. Arp spent 40 days in the unit before his death.
Michael Arp, Loren's son and producer of the festival, had a goal of 40,000 fans over the two days and has discussed adding a third day, perhaps a rock night, to 2014.
Besides the acts on the mainstage, local bands had their time entertaining in the beer tents.
"Even though it's extremely hot out here, the first crowd we had was extremely good," said Rich Porstman, lead singer of the North of 40 Band, which returned to the beer tent for the second year. "So far it's better and it's building and growing."
"I think it's a real good promotion for country music in the Quad-Cities," he added. "It says we're hungry for it."