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Committee unveils plans for 2024 Festival of the Bells; Shane Profitt, Tyler Braden to headline concert series

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The Festival of the Bells committee has announced headlining acts for the 2024 Festival. At left, pictured is Shane Profitt (Photo courtesy of Maverick Nashville Management/ At right, pictured is Tyler Braden (Photo courtesy of WHY&HOW/
Caitlin Forsha, The Highland County Press

Festival of the Bells committee president Tom Zile and vice president Tiffany McCoy Friday announced the 2024 Festival concert series headliners and several exciting changes to the three-day schedule. 

This year’s Festival will be held July 4-6 with the theme “Small Town American Dream,” at Crossroads Park, the green space on West Main Street in Hillsboro.

Friday night’s featured act will be country artist Shane Profitt, and headlining the Festival on Saturday night will be country singer Tyler Braden.

As previously reported, event organizer Brian Robinson announced March 7 that Riley Clemmons will open this year’s festival on Thursday, July 4 as the featured Christian artist. (See more at:….)

According to his submitted biography: “A salt-of-the-earth southerner with a straight-shooting swagger and kind smile, Shane Profitt’s musical toolbox is full of all-natural talent. At the end of 2021, he was still pulling overtime at his job with the city, busting his back about an hour south of Nashville and living for the weekend — with a few decades left to go. 

“But now, the 23-year-old is rocking sold-out crowds at the historic Ryman Auditorium, earning standing ovations at the Grand Ole Opry, and writing modern country tunes so genuine, they slip on like a pair of broken-in work boots — because no one has to tell this singer-songwriter what a blue-collar life is all about. 

“Profitt’s journey starts about two years ago, when his granddad asked what he wanted for Christmas and his wish was to learn how to play Hank Jr. songs on the guitar. Beginning with G, C, and D chords, he stuck with it. Gifted with a heavy-duty vocal, Profitt became a regular draw at the popular southern cooking chain, Puckett’s, traveling all over Tennessee to weekend shows while still holding down his job back home. While that made for some long hours, it also led to inspiration for original music. 

“On his latest track, ‘Still Picks Up,’ the emerging artist introduces more layers and emotion to his usual feel-good, windows-down sound, storytelling in a way that hits close to home every time. The vulnerable tune follows the debut of his boots-on-the-ground writing style and big, barrel-chested voice on the three-song collection ‘Maury County Line’ (BMLG Records/Harpeth 60 Records). With tracks like the hook-filled honky tonker ‘Better Off Fishin’,’ chest-thumping charmer ‘Guys Like Me,’ and his hopeful heaven-on-earth Top 15 Country radio single ‘How It Oughta Be,’ it’s clear he puts his life to music — along with the lives of so many others. 

“The Tennessee native is just getting started, gearing up for his highly anticipated debut album this fall. For more information, visit”

Saturday night headliner Tyler Braden released his EP “Neon Grave” in 2023. His submitted biography says:

“‘Neon Grave,’ produced by Randy Montana and released via Warner Music Nashville, marks a creative milestone for Braden. The charismatic singer-songwriter has spent much of his young life cultivating his distinctive musical vision. He’s also built a massive fan base through a series of more than a dozen successful digital releases, racking up an incredible 200 million streams. Meanwhile, he’s made his mark as a powerhouse live performer, with an earthy energy to match his emotionally insightful, melodically infectious songs.

“The six tracks that comprise ‘Neon Grave’ offer an impressive sampling of Braden’s dynamic musical approach, which effortlessly combines a deep-rooted grounding in country tradition with the rollicking, high-energy instincts of a born rock ‘n’ roller.

“Braden’s ability to imbue his self-penned tunes with gritty urgency and emotional intimacy is reflected in the swaggering, irony-laden title track, and on the stirring ‘Try Losing One.’ The latter number appears on ‘Neon Grave’ in two distinct versions, one with Braden’s heartfelt solo vocal and the other as an emotion-charged duet with Sydney Sierota of Echosmith. The original version of ‘Try Losing One’ hit No. 1 on Sirius XM The Highway’s Hot 30 Countdown, while the duet is accompanied by a black-and-white video that underlines the song’s stark emotional landscape.

“Braden’s songs, like his personality, reflect the solid foundation of his personal history. Growing up in the small rural community of Slapout, Ala., he began playing guitar and writing songs in his teens, with the support of parents who were musicians themselves. He soon demonstrated his mettle as a live performer, fronting a hard- charging band and gaining a reputation for playing four-hour cover-song sets.

“He also channeled his energies into his work as a firefighter in nearby Montgomery, learning some key life lessons that he says been able to apply in his musical life. 

“Braden continued to serve as a firefighter after moving to Music City to pursue his musical career. He met his manager in January 2017 following a performance in Nashville’s influential Whiskey Jam concert series, which led to his current recording deal with Warner Music Nashville. He released his well-received debut EP, ‘What Do They Know,’ in 2021.

“The propulsive entertainer continues to win new fans, maintaining a strong online presence and performing live on stages across America. 

“Braden has also made the most of his dues-paying gigs as an opening act, warming up shows for such superstars as Brooks & Dunn, Brantley Gilbert, Chris Stapleton, Dierks Bentley and Mitchell Tenpenny.”

Other concerts will include performances by Waynesville artist Richard Lynch on Friday at 7 p.m.; local band Blue Steel on Saturday at 1 p.m.; and other artists to be announced.

As mentioned, the popular annual concerts are not the only thing to look forward to this year, as Zile and McCoy said that there are several changes in store.

“I think it's going to be a lot smoother running and a lot better,” Zile said.
One major change is the addition of a queens contest on Thursday, July 4, while the annual parade will now be moved to Saturday, July 6 instead of being held on the opening night of the festival. McCoy said that forms to enter the queens contest should be ready by early May.

The inaugural Festival of the Bells queen will then participate in events during the festival, including Saturday’s parade.

“She’ll also represent us at these other local festivals,” Zile said.

The parade will again be sponsored by the Highland County Firefighters Association, and additional information will be released in the coming months, Zile and McCoy said.

“They don't charge businesses to enter,” McCoy said. “They can just enter and show up, and with it being on Saturday, we're hoping that more people, and more businesses, enter.”

Zile added that they are also encouraging “a great bunch of decorated Jeeps” to enter the parade.

Saturday’s events will include the return of popular events such as the baby parade, pet parade, 3-on-3 basketball tournament, a 5k run and a car show, according to Zile. 

However, the Highland County Historical Society’s “Pioneer Day” event — held at the neighboring Scott House in recent years in conjunction with the Festival — will not be taking place, as Zile said that will allow for “more room for the car show” and other activities.

The 2024 festival also coincides with the July 3-6 seasonal campout at the Highland County Fairgrounds, Zile said.

“We will have a link on our website where they can camp there if they want for that weekend,” Zile said.

All three days of the festival will also include food and craft vendors as well as rides. Zile said that they are contracting with a company that is “supposed to have more and bigger rides than what we've had in the last several years,” while McCoy said that they have already secured all of the inside craft vendor spaces.

However, McCoy said that businesses are encouraged to take advantage of another new offer, which is for one-day outside vendor spaces this year.

“We’ve opened it up this year where businesses or people that want to sell stuff can apply for a single day and set up outside,” she said. “That opens up the door for the businesses that want to just come out and advertise and that kind of thing without paying the full weekend price. We have some outdoor spots still available.”

There will also be a variety of food vendors, according to Zile.

“The festival went so well last year that we had some of the food vendors that paid ahead so that they could be here this year,” he said. 

The Festival committee is also seeking corporate sponsors to help pay for this year’s festival. Anyone interested in sponsoring the event can contact Zile or any committee member for more information.

“We've said it before, but the more sponsors we have, the bigger the talent that we can get,” Zile said. 

McCoy added that the committee is also accepting sponsorships for specific events (if not already sponsored) or for other aspects of the festival, such as defraying the expenses of ride tickets for local youths.

Information on sponsorship opportunities, as well as schedule announcements and registration forms for contests as they become available, can be found at the Festival website,, and the Festival’s Facebook (

“All in all, I think we're all pretty excited about this year, with the new things and with the people that we have coming in,” McCoy said. “I think it's going to be a good year with a good crowd, and it will be something exciting for that weekend.” 

Publisher's note: A free press is critical to having well-informed voters and citizens. While some news organizations opt for paid websites or costly paywalls, The Highland County Press has maintained a free newspaper and website for the last 25 years for our community. If you would like to contribute to this service, it would be greatly appreciated. Donations may be made to: The Highland County Press, P.O. Box 849, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133. Please include "for website" on the memo line.

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