Red Ants Pants Festival 2016

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We went to the Red Ants Pants Festival and it was Montana’s hottest (literally and figuratively) festival of the year.
The best party in a cow field we’ve ever been to.
By Sam Tolman

Let’s get one thing straight – The Red Ants Pants Festival is a festival for woman’s clothing. Which, in turn, supports woman “…develop and expand (in) leadership roles…”, according to the foundations website. So, with this good cause in the back of our minds, we felt pretty motivated on the three hour drive from Missoula to White Sulpher Springs to get best dang photos and interviews for the station. Plus, RAPF announced a few days before the festival that we were in for good weather for the entire weekend, so things were looking up!

Of course, we didn’t realize that when the weather was looking good, that would mean that we would would be in a dusty and shadeless field, under a 90+ degree sun, for three days straight. In this extreme weather I started to question why I was there, the fact that I don’t even follow country music all that much, and that I’m 27 and there’s cow pies a foot away from my tent. In heat like that, it’s not hard to start question your own sense of existence entirely. Of course, this attitude all changed when I hopped into the photo pit and I felt like I was one on one with the incredible and uplifting personalities of Corb Lund, Ray Willie Hubbord, the attendees and staff of The Red Ants Pants and the people of White Sulpher Springs (shoutout to the wonderful woman over at Dori’s Cafe).

I had a wonderful time, and would say that the Red Ants Pants Festival, despite not being a huge country music fan myself, has been one of my favorite festivals I’ve attended this year and Montana, and believe me, I’ve attended a few of them. So, here’s some photos of the best weekend I’ll ever spend in a cowfield –

Hayes Carll







Corb Lund








The Mavericks









Wynonna and The Big Noise






For coverage of the other festivals we’ve been to this summer, check out our photo gallery.

These photos were produced in partnership with Missoula Community Access Television (MCAT).

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