"THERE is a god and he likes Caitlyn Shadbolt."
That was one comment on Sunday as a steaming, stormy November day turned into a fine, cool afternoon of great music in Nelson Reserve.
The rain came just in time to relieve the sweltering tropical conditions, and clouds quickly parted to provide ideal concert conditions as the enthusiasm and energy built among more than 3000 people in front of the sound shell stage.
"It was amazing.
"I can't believe the turnout," a delighted Caitlyn told The Gympie Times yesterday.
"Generally country music has an older following, but there was a real involvement by young people, including young girls.
"So I'm really stoked.
"They are the future of country music," she said.
"It was great to have them there at the stage."
It was all a long way from the days, even as recent as earlier this year, when she would play before sometimes difficult crowds.
"Sometimes they'd only loosen up for the last couple of songs."
But on Sunday, a series of excellent warm-up acts had everything already rocking when the Wolfe Brothers, Lee Kernaghan's official backing band, took the stage.
Officially Australia's top-rating foot-stomping country band, the Wolfies revealed themselves also as Caitlyn's band, pumping it up as the crowd screamed its appreciation of the Mothar Mountain pocket rocket, who arrived (country-style) in the back of a ute driven at royal cavalcade speed to the stage. A brilliant sound system and flawless performances made it a day to remember for everyone there, including Caitlyn.
An absolute stand-out in her red dress, even a police escort and following fans could not hide Gympie's favourite performer.
"It was just awesome. The music finished at 4.15pm and I was still signing for fans until 6.30. The stalls were all put away and everybody else had packed up and I was still signing things.
"I loved it," she said.