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Hottest country artists play Country Crossings at the Expo

This year’s Country Crossings Music Festival — the second to be held at the Expo — features headliners Cole Swindell, Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley and Eric Church on the state-of-the-art Main Stage, and local and up-and-coming performers on the Boxcar Stage inside Seven Feathers Event Center.

“We’re excited about our second year in Jackson County,” says Anne Hankins, president of Willamette Country Concerts. “Country Crossings Music Festival and Southern Oregon were made for each other.”

The festival kicks off Thursday, July 26, and runs through Sunday, July 29. The Expo is 1 Peninger Road, Central Point.

VIP and premium general admission tickets, as well as RV spaces, can be purchased at cxfest.com/tickets. Front row single-day admission, single-day general admission, child admission, camping passes, pit passes and festival fast passes also are available. VIP and handicapped parking are sold out.

Festival gates open at noon Thursday, 10 a.m. Friday through Sunday. Main Stage gates open at 2 p.m. Thursday, 1 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. Saturday, and noon Sunday.

Concert organizers look at such factors as demographics when choosing headliners and other performers to play Country Crossings festivals.

“It’s more of a creative process for us,” Hankins says. “We look at which artists are trending, which ones we feel will be big players next year, or coming out with new music. Cole Swindell is one of the hottest acts in country music right now.”

Georgia-born Swindell has two studio albums on the Warner Bros. Records Nashville label, a self-titled album (2014) and “You Should Be Here” (2016). Seven of his singles charted among the Top 5 of Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay. His newest, “All of It,” is set for release Aug. 17.

Swindell will perform at 8 p.m. Thursday at the music festival in Central Point. Country pop singer and songwriter Tyler Rich opens the show at 4 p.m.; Brett Young at 6 p.m.

Also from Georgia, country singer and songwriter Jackson — known for his mix of honky-tonk and mainstream country sounds — will perform on the Main Stage at 9 p.m. Friday. Jackson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame last year by Loretta Lynn, the first lady of country music. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame this year. Jackson has nearly two dozen albums to his credit, along with two Grammys, 16 Country Music Association awards and 17 Academy of Country Music awards, among others.

Country crooner Adam Doleac opens the show at 3 p.m.; Arkansas singer and songwriter Ashley McBryde performs at 5 p.m.; and vocal and guitar duo Brothers Osborne, who released “Port Saint Joe” on the EMI Nashville label in April, play at 7 p.m.

Traditional country artist Paisley blasted onto the national music scene in 1999, with his song “Who Needs Pictures” and a 2000 appearance at the Grand Old Opry.

Paisley and his band — The Drama Kings — perform at 9 p.m. Saturday. He has a dozen albums to his credit and countless music awards.

Lacy Cavalier starts things off at 1 p.m. Saturday; new trio Temecula Road plays at 3 p.m.; singer Neal McCoy performs at 5 p.m.; and singer and songwriter Dustin Lynch at 7 p.m.

Country artist Church and his band take the Main Stage at 8 p.m. Sunday. Church has a long list of gold and platinum albums to his credit, also countless country music awards. His newest album, “Desperate Man,” is set for release in October. The album’s title track and first single was released July 13.

Brown & Gray perform at 2 p.m. Sunday; Morgan Evans at 4 p.m.; and Chris Janson at 6 p.m.

California Country, Rogue Valley country band Fogline, Spencer Crandall and Ross Ellis perform at 2 p.m. on the Boxcar Stage in Seven Feathers Event Center.

On Friday, California Country, Chase Fouraker, Fogline, Parker McCollum, Josh Mirenda and Austin Jenckes perform starting at 11 a.m. on the Boxcar Stage.

Saturday’s performers include Hailey Verhaalen, Julie Rizik, Scott Steven, Cross Atlantic and Lewis Brice, starting at noon, and Bri Marie, Johnny Young Band, Seaforth and Troy Cartwright perform starting at noon Sunday.

Family activities, arts, crafts and concessions will be available at the Expo. Look for KidZone Entertainment, interactive musical comedy by Cowboy Buck & Elizabeth, a Toddler Zone, face-painting, balloon animals and carnival games.

Singer and songwriter Brad Paisley is probably the most celebrated artist performing this weekend at Country Crossings Music Festival. mm-group.org