It’s the weekend country music fans have been waiting for all year.

The 2019 Cavendish Beach Music Festival presented by Bell kicked off Friday night with thousands of fans making their way to the grounds.

This year, headliners for the festival include country music superstars Hunter Hayes, Carrie Underwood, and Eric Church.

This is the 11th year for the concert and organizers are once again anticipating a very large crowd.

“The first time we’ve seen the glorious sunshine this summer, I think people are excited to start summer 2019 and what better way to do it than the Cavendish Beach Music Festival,” said Whitecap Entertainment president and CEO, Jeff Squires.

Prince Edward Island native Ben Chase was the first performer to take the stage, kicking off the weekend full of local and international talent. In the crowd, his family was cheering him on, including his grandfather, who helped shape his path to success.

“I knew he was a performer when he was two years old. He got up on the pulpit at church and he done Our Father with the whole congregation, so, I knew from then on he would be an entertainer,” said Ben Chase’s grandfather.

Local motels and cottages to the festival grounds are sold out, and nearby stores have their shelves stocked and extra staff on hand.

“We are all booked today, and we have a very busy week,” said nearby motel front desk employee, Leo Liu. “Lots of people from Nova Scotia, from New Brunswick, and some of them are come back customers.”

“It’s definitely the busiest weekend of the summer because there are just so many people coming from everywhere,” said Elizabeth Mulligan, Cows Cavendish supervisor.

Friday night’s musical acts on the Bell main stage were Canadians High Valley, American artist Frankie Ballard, and country music star Hunter Hayes.

Headliners set to hit the stage on Saturday include Carrie Underwood, Russell Dickerson, and Chad Brownlee.

For a complete schedule of the festival weekend, you can visit

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Suzette Belliveau.