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Photos: Country music fans party it up at Tailgate Fest in Fontana

Tailgate Fest returned to Southern California on Saturday at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, following a two year pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The country music festival is unique as it incorporates the tailgate aspect of a concert into the main event. Fans are allowed and encouraged to post up in their truck beds or in areas built around their vehicles with their friends to take in all of the performances.

The two-day event kicked off on Saturday with performances by Nate Smith, Matt Stell, Lanco, Eli Young Band and Jake Owen.

Tailgate Fest made its Southern California debut as a single-day event in 2018, headlined by Toby Keith in the parking lot of the Kia Forum in Inglewood. It expanded to a two-day show and moved to Leal Ranch in Eastvale in 2019 and settled into its new home in Fontana this year.

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On top of the live music, the festival also kept fans engaged with a variety of contests and activities. There were cornhole competitions, line dancing and guests heavily decorated their tailgate spaces in hopes of winning the Pimp That Tailgate Challenge. The top prize package included festival swag, event upgrades and meet and greets with the artists.

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