View Full Version : Did you see Garth at Fan Fair?

09-05-2003, 09:24 PM
I will never forget meeting Garth at Fan Fair, in Nashville.
He wasn't scheduled to be there, and we just happened to walk past one
of the buildings outside the main signing booths and there was this mass of people. So we got close enough to see what the fuss was all about and there he was! OMG it was GARTH!!! We just about had a heart attack. We found out he was there signing autographs, and had promised to stay until the last person in the lineup got theirs. So we got in line at 1pm, and spent the next 13hrs anticipating our moment with Garth. I rehearsed in my head a hundred times, what I would say to him. Garths people had set up a Karoke Machine in the middle of the line, and the best "Garth impersonation got to sing with him. So we watched as people went in & out of the line, their moment of fame. Garth heard it all, and every once in a while he would look over and smile, or say something funny. IT was great! So we waited, and we ate our last cookie and drank our last pop, and we waited.
Then it happened, it was our turn. We wondered if we would be rushed through, because it was soooo late, and he had been signing for so long.
We stepped out of the lineup and into the space we had been imagining being in, for thirteen hours. There he was, smiling like he had just met his first fan. There were no body guards, no Manager husseling him away, just my sister myself and Garth. He talked to us and signed our tee shirts and posters and calendars. We had our pictures taken with him and it was Garth who asked, " Would you like to have a picture taken together with me?" and we said YES, so he handed our cameras to his photographer, and we posed for 5 more pictures! He hugged us and thanked us for waiting all that time in that lineup, just to meet him. WE said "Thank YOU for waiting for us! LOL" and he laughed. Then we walked away, floating on cloud 9 and said it was worth every minute and we would do it again. 13 hrs was nothing for the 5 minutes we spent with Garth. He made us feel like there was no one more important, for those 5 minutes then we were. That was the last time we went to Fan Fair. We had been 7 years in a row, loved every minute of it, but when we met Garth, we really felt "How can it possibly get any better than this?!". Thank you Garth for being such a gentleman, and nicer than we could have imagined you to be. We will always think of those moments with him as one of the highlights of our lives. We have the pictures to prove it, and if someone can tell me where to upload them, you know that will be my next project... LOL
Thanks for letting me share my "special moment with Garth"
Joanne in Canada.

09-05-2003, 09:47 PM
Hey Joanne! Welcome to the Planet!! What an awesome post to be your very first. Thanks for sharing your moment with US!

I didn't see Garth at Fan Fair, but I know there are others on here who have. The karaoke machine part is neat, I don't know that I've ever heard about that before!

There should be a place when you hit "reply" where you can upload your photos. There's a size limitation it mentions there. We'd love to see them!

09-05-2003, 10:05 PM
I was there.:D It was my first time at Fan Fair.:) We had just finished listening to the morning concert, so it was around 11:30 or so when we went to Garth's booth to check it out, even though he wasn't going to be there. Then we heard that he was there and that he was meeting with fans outside. We finally made it to the head of the line at 11:45 p.m., so we were a little ahead of you.

I didn't know they had a karaoke machine with people singing his songs. I did hear music playing, but I thought it was just a CD they had on.

You're so right...even though it was late, he didn't rush you and made sure you got everything you wanted. While I was talking to him, my sister just kept taking pictures of us. I still can't believe that, for 23-1/2 hours he never left the line to go to the bathroom.:eek:

Welcome to PG.:D


09-05-2003, 10:28 PM
I've never heard anyone mention the karaoke machine either! Guess with that long a line, you should do something to keep the people entertained as they wait. LOL It's so awesome that you got to be there, Joanne. Welcome to the forums, and thanks for sharing!


Monica Lockhart
09-05-2003, 10:50 PM
Welcome to PlanetGarth Joanne!

What a cool story! Thanks for dropping by to share it with us! Hope you stick around and post more!

Garth is amazing. He truly loves his fans!


09-05-2003, 10:56 PM
Wow! Very cool Joanne! Glad you could make it to the Garth planet! :)

09-05-2003, 11:47 PM
Wow! Very cool story.

Welcome to the finest planet on the planet!


09-06-2003, 02:06 PM
Great story. Love to see your pics


09-06-2003, 05:30 PM
Great story! I had heard about the 23 hours of signing but didn't realize it wasn't a planned thing until I heard the story on CMT. That's our Garth always surprising us.

09-09-2003, 10:36 PM
Thank you everyone for your enthusiastic replies to my long winded story...lol
I haven't got those pictures on my computer, and haven't a scanner right now...So I will have to take them to a photo shop and get them burned onto a disc, so I can upload them.
I LOVE sharing my Garth pics, so I am thrilled someone actually wants to see them .. LOL
Jo :)

09-16-2003, 07:32 PM
awwww, he's so sweet!!!

10-11-2003, 11:44 AM
I got the pics scanned...here we gooooooooooo.....omg...I am getting butterflies looking at them again :)

10-11-2003, 11:47 AM
I got the pics scanned...here we gooooooooooo.....omg...I am getting butterflies looking at them again :)

Here's a couple more...my fav is the hug...of course...say no more..
whooooooo ooooooooooooo....mamma I have died an gone to heaven :)

10-11-2003, 11:57 AM
Thanks for sharing your pictures. I see that shirt every day in the pictures I have in my house...three in the living room, one in my bedroom and one by my computer, plus the one on my watch and the collage of six on my coffee cup.:D He certainly looked (and felt;)) good!!!


10-11-2003, 01:57 PM

Thanks for sharing those pics


10-11-2003, 01:58 PM
Joanne, it gave me much more than butterflies to see that! I feel so warm and fuzzy inside. Garth looks trim and you both look very happy. After how many hours wait was it for you? And him?

10-11-2003, 06:10 PM
Great pictures Joanne:) Those big smiles tell it all.

10-12-2003, 12:05 PM
Hey fuzz wuzz, I waited in line for 13hrs, but Garth was in eyeshot the whole time, and with the karaoke going on....it was a whole Garth adventure...and I would do it again if I had the chance...worth every minute...He's da man!

10-12-2003, 08:38 PM
Tell me more about your karokee experience. Was it Garth's idea? What songs did you all sing? Did you? Or the crowd? Bet it kept things upbeat while you waited and got everybody more acquainted. Music is AND Garth is great for that!:)

10-14-2003, 11:53 PM

Thanks for sharing them with us. :)

10-15-2003, 09:55 PM
Love those pics of you and Garth. He looks soooo cute! Is he much cuter in person? I would love to have those arms around me. :) You were so lucky.

10-16-2003, 11:51 PM
This related article came up on a search for Bob Seger and Garth Brooks. Did the people get copies of this karoke thing like Trisha's fans? And what about the lady with the heart attack refusing to go to the hospital until she saw Garth and some other touching stories. And Tim McGraw's huge draw in Garth's absence?

Virtual Garth: Nashville - postcard.. (Garth Brooks; Nashville, TN, country music Fan Fair)
Date: 07/18/1994; Publication: The New Republic; Author: Dawidoff, Nicholas

The New Republic


"We specifically came here to meet Garth; that was our main purpose," said Chris Lowe, a middle-aged woman with four Garth Brooks pins on her cap, a Garth Brooks keychain in her purse and a very understanding husband named Darrell at her side. The Lowes had driven sixteen hours straight from Sioux City, Iowa, where she works at a Target discount department store and he in a pork packing plant, to Nashville, the city of country. Here they joined 24,000 other fans from all fifty states who had plunked down $80 apiece for the privilege of spending a week at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds listening to music and mingling with many of country music's biggest stars at the annual Fan Fair. Wynonna Judd appeared at Fan Fair. So did Billy Ray Cyrus, Tanya Tucker, Travis Tritt, Alan Jackson, Clint Black and Trisha Yearwood. At the Garth Brooks booth, however, there was only a life-sized cardboard replica of the best-selling singer in the world, along with a worn pair of his boots, one of his blue, western-style shirts and a black Stetson. Brooks himself was resting back at home in Oklahoma. His fans were encouraged to slip into his clothes and have their photograph taken with the virtual Garth. They could also videotape a message to him that his fan club officials promised would be forwarded.

The fealty of country music fans to their favorite stars is as strong as old-time religion. At a previous Fan Fair, a woman waiting in line to meet Brooks suffered a heart attack. She refused to allow the paramedics to take her to the hospital until she got Brooks's autograph. This year Brooks fans at Fan Fair were enduring his absence more gracefully. "We're sorry he's not here," Lowe said. "One of his songs, `The River,' changed my life. I used to have panic attacks. That's when you're afraid to go far from your home. In `The River' he says, `Don't sit upon the shoreline and say you're satisfied/Choose to chance the rapids and dare to dance the tide.' I came 825 miles to Nashville two years ago because of that song. That's when I met Garth. I waited seventeen hours in line for him. I gave up my motel room and slept on the cement. I was a captive for more than thirty years. Now I'm free, and `The River' is the reason why."

In the past few years, as most people know, country has become the most popular music in America. More than 41 percent of the U.S. population now tunes in to country music on the radio, much of it broadcast on the nation's 2,427 all-country stations. Five of Billboard's top fifteen best-selling 1993 artists were country singers. But if nearly everybody is listening to country music these days, the country vanguard remains the white-skinned, blue- collar types who grew up eating turnip greens at the Cracker Barrel and listening to the Louisiana Hayride. Fan Fair is their revival meeting.

This year, Travis Tritt, a pot-bellied, hirsute, former air conditioner repairman from Marietta, Georgia, sat inside the sound hole of a black, twenty-foot-long guitar greeting a long, mostly female line of fans. All were equipped with photographs of Tritt for him to sign and cameras to snap new ones. Many were cooing, "He's so pretty," as they waited. What did Shea Rupke, who works for a Seattle fishing company, talk about in her one minute with the singer of "Here's a Quarter, Call Someone Who Cares"? "He asked me if it was raining out there," she said. "I told him, `No, but I'd wait even if it was.' That was it! Didn't even have any more time with him." Tritt says that sometimes the exchanges do become more intimate. "They tell me personal stories about how much my music means to them, about their daughter who was in a coma, heard my music and came out of it, or `I've just been through a horrible divorce and your music helped me through it.' It lets you know you made a difference."

Elsewhere, Alan Jackson, a one-time K-Mart employee whose most recent album, A Lot About Livin' and a Little 'Bout Love, has gone quadruple platinum, stood in a booth designed to look like the village of Mayberry from "The Andy Griffith Show." Jackson's signature was in such demand that he may one day meet the fate of the Kentucky singer Tom T. Hall, who has twice suffered carpal tunnel syndrome from signing too many autographs. Around the bend, Trisha Yearwood waited inside her booth, a small recording studio where her fans could accompany her in a quick rendition of her first No. 1 single, "She's in Love with the Boy." Yearwood was married recently, and fans presented her with wedding gifts. As each person left the booth, Yearwood gave them a tape of their effort. "I kind of sing the song in my sleep," she said.

Across the way, Marty Brown, the towheaded 28-year-old son of tobacco pullers from Maceo, Kentucky, was signing and smiling in front of his booth, Marty's Bait Shop. "I been doin' this sangin' thing since I was 12 years old," said Brown, a vintage country boy who likes rabbit hunting and catfish fishing and speaks as though he has a mouth full of crickets. Julie Roop, a Blacksburg, Virginia, hospital worker, was waiting in line to meet him. "Marty started out like we did," she said. "Common folk. He was dirt poor. Seein' him work really hard to get where he is now, we're proud of him."

Less successful performers were on hand, too. Bonnie Nelson, a voluptuous singer who has performed on the Grand Ole Opry but these days travels the county fair circuit, was making brief video clips in front of a movie camera with her fans, most of them portly males whose filmic debuts consisted of mad make-out scenes with Nelson. Meanwhile, the crowd to see Tim McGraw, whose latest single, a sappy ballad titled, "Don't Take the Girl," is shooting up the Billboard charts, was so large that it spilled in front of an adjoining booth belonging to Michael Dillon. Dillon had on black stretch pants tucked into a pair of black cowboy boots and a suitably garish black and white jacket, but, alas, he had neither visitors nor a record contract. "It embarrasses him a lot to come here," said Dillon's wife, Linda Mitchell, who sews her husband's costumes for him. How long has Dillon been in the business? "Too long," he said.

Mostly, though, Fan Fair is about big stars. Sweating in the Marty Stuart line was Keith Ray, an Atlanta factory worker. Ray had with him a pink Fender electric guitar already filigreed with two Stuart autographs. Why did he need to wait under the beating sun for hours to receive another? "Maybe after a while, he'll get to know me, and when he's settin' around havin' a little jam session, I'll get to pick with him," Ray explained.

Stuart left his home in Philadelphia, Mississippi, at age 13 to play the mandolin in Lester Flatt's bluegrass band. He is now 35 and a recent Grammy winner. At Fan Fair, he greeted his fans in what he calls "my work clothes": suede cowboy boots, skin-tight blue jeans and a black and white fringed cutaway jacket. Stuart's hair is big, and his face so "cute," according to Doris Keene of Hebron, Kentucky, that she expended five rolls of film on it. Then, when she got the chance, she planted a huge gob of lipstick on Stuart's chin.

"Can you imagine Bob Dylan doing this?" asked Stuart. "It's a whole different world with country fans. It's all about loyalty. To the uninitiated this looks like a total scam--a lot of publicity and hype. But these are everyday folks, and to pull the snob trip with them is out of line. They were with me when I was just getting started. If you're loyal to them, they're loyal to you when you're red hot, when you're white hot and when you're in the bargain bin. All it takes is a little bit of this."