Winners of the Mercury Insurance Route 91 Harvest Festival Sweepstakes Tell All
Route 91 Harvest is becoming a favorite festival destination for country music fans. What die-hard fan wouldn’t want to see a variety of country’s top artists – and up-and-comers – live from the Vegas Strip? Mercury, a sponsor of this year’s event, hosted a sweepstakes to send two lucky fans and their guests to see Brad Paisley, Luke Bryan, Toby Keith, David Nail and more musicians at the three-day event. The sweepstakes was open to people not insured with Mercury, as well as current customers, in Arizona, California and Nevada.
We recently spoke with the winners, Tom Rothstein of Torrance, California, and Cara Babcock of Cotati, California, to learn about their respective VIP experiences at Route 91 Harvest. Here’s what they had to say.
MERCURY: How did you learn about the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival Sweepstakes?
Cara: I was paying my auto insurance bill online and saw the banner on Mercury’s website. As a huge country music fan, I entered.
MERCURY: What inspired you to enter the sweepstakes?
Tom: I wanted to compare Mercury’s rates with my current auto insurance rate while getting a chance to win tickets to Route 91 Harvest Festival.
Cara: My love for country music and the chance to see Brad Paisley – the one artist my husband Greg and I have been wanting to see for years.
MERCURY: What were your first thoughts when you found out you won three-day passes to the festival?
Tom: Initially skeptical. Being in sales in a former life, I’m always cautious about cold calls. Once my girlfriend Michele and I realized it was legit and the magnitude of the prize, we became beyond excited looking forward to going to the show.
Cara: I honestly didn’t believe it and thought there must be a catch – we’ve never won anything before so I was extremely surprised.
MERCURY: What about the festival were you most looking forward to prior to going? Which performer were you the most excited to see?
Tom: We were most excited about access to the VIP suites, and seeing Toby Keith and Luke Bryan.
Cara: We were very excited to experience the festival. We love all country music – from the big names to the undiscovered future stars. Brad Paisley is the performer we were most excited to see as we hadn’t yet seen him perform and he is a phenomenal guitarist.
MERCURY: Had you ever been to Route 91 Harvest before?
Tom: Yes, Michele and I went in 2015. The VIP experience this year was awesome. In 2015, we watched most of the show thinking how cool would it be to have access to the VIP suites and it’s definitely the way to enjoy the show. Not sure how we can go back to general admission again!
Cara: No, we hadn’t. Last spring Greg and I took our first trip to Nashville and we frequent other country music concerts locally.
MERCURY: Who, in your opinion, put on the best performance? Who was your favorite act to see?
Tom: It was our first time seeing Luke Bryan. He put on an amazing performance. I would see him perform again anytime. Toby Keith would be my favorite, though. I’ve been listening to his music for over 20 years and always enjoy seeing him perform.
Cara: This is so hard to answer. All the performances were amazing. As HUGE country music fans, we enjoyed each and every performance. The best part about country music is that it truly is about the music – no fancy stage sets, lights or gimmicks. If we have to pick it would probably be Brad Paisley.
MERCURY: How’d you spend your downtime (both at the festival and afterwards)?
Tom: We spent time with some friends who were also in town for the festival. We visited some casinos and even went to a home show while in town. Being a former resident, we went to eat at some of my favorite local spots. A few places we enjoy are Blueberry Hill Family Restaurant, Felipiotos Mexican and Daug Haus Biergarten.
Cara: We enjoyed seeing some of the other acts at the Next of Nashville stage and explored the booths and food at the venue. Away from the festival, we stumbled upon Octoberfest at The Park, where we enjoyed some great Sin City beer and bratwurst while listening to authentic German music. It’s a lovely green space with art and water features right in the midst of the Strip. As we aren’t much for gambling, it was a perfect way to enjoy some downtime.
MERCURY: Would you recommend this festival to other country music fans (or music fans in general)?
Tom: I would definitely recommend the festival to any music fan.
Cara: Absolutely, although if you aren’t a country music fan, it may be a bit much as there aren’t other genres represented.
Additionally, we can’t thank Mercury enough. It’s a once in a lifetime experience and, again, as huge country music fans an absolutely fabulous experience. It was also a way for us to celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary a few weeks early, so THANK YOU!