Runaway June Return to Festivals While Waiting for Return of Carrie Underwood Cry Pretty Tour 360 (Exclusive)

Runaway June had a couple months off while waiting for the second leg of Carrie Underwood's upcoming Cry Pretty Tour 360. So the trio, made up of Naomi Cooke, Jennifer Wayne and Hannah Mulholland, returned to their roots by heading to fairs and festivals this summer, including a Labor Day weekend performance at sunny Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam in Panama City Beach, Florida.

"We have a lot of friends that have done it," Cooke, who is a Florida native, told of Gulf Coast Jam. "It's always something that they talk about that's really fun. Personally, I love to go home anytime I can. So that was just kind of a no-brainer for us, and some of our friends run it. It's a good show."

Runaway June was eager to return to the festival scene, in order to get in front of even more of their fans.

"We did May and June with Carrie, had July and August off to do our fan festival circuit, which is very important to us, to get to the fans that weren't able to come to the show and see us with Carrie," Cooke explained. "We spent two months doing that. It really keeps us in check with our band. You know if you really have that time off, it gets a little discombobulated musically, but you really never get off that track, which is great."

Cooke enjoys both the festival grounds and the big arenas that Underwood books, even though they are two entirely different experiences.

"It's night and day," Cooke maintained. "Number one, the stage. The stages that we play are completely different. The Carrie stage is this big, giant circular spaceship thing that has lifts, and risers. It's really high up, and just a whole different way that you have to entertain, versus fairs and festival shows that have the same linear stage, but maybe a catwalk.

"It really challenges us as a band to be able to perform," she continued. "It's kind of like coming back home a little bit. When you play fairs and festivals, you're used to that stage set up and we have a different show. It's just a completely different show for both, but both are amazing."

Underwood's Cry Pretty Tour 360 resumes on Sept. 10, where Runaway June will resume the welcome rhythm of a big tour.

"There's beauty in that touring like that, but it kind of feels like a pop star, where we go out and we stay out for the whole two months. You don't come home," explained Cooke. "There is a beauty in that because you have a set schedule. Every day is kind of the same. You're in a route, have the bus every single day. You can really get used to that comfort. Versus fairs and festivals, you are all over. I mean, if you look at the map of where you've been, it's just kind of all over the place.

"I think we're ready to get back out there and do that and finish this out and we're really excited to get back with Carrie," she added. "She's just the biggest entertainer in the world, and we've learned so much from her, and I can't wait to see what this next leg is going to be."


Tickets are still available for Gulf Coast Jam, which is being headlined by Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean and Kid Rock. Find a list of all of Runaway June's upcoming shows by visiting their website.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/ Steve Jennings