Thursday, January 27, 2011
Willie's Country Throwdown coming to Sparta
A major concert tour is coming to the World Shooting and Recreation Complex in Sparta on Saturday, June 11 starring music icon Willie Nelson, and hot country rebel sensation Jamey Johnson, among others.
4 FINI, Inc., producers of the wildly successful Vans Warped Tour, have announced that Willie Nelson’s Country Throwdown Tour 2011 will trek the country beginning in May. The second annual outdoor amphitheater trek will feature a diverse lineup that brings together iconic and emerging artists in the country music scene as well as a full concourse of lifestyle attractions and vendors (to be announced soon) with an affordable ticket price. The shooting complex is the only venue on the tour that is not in an amphitheater setting.
In a phone conversation with Kevin Lyman of the Lyman Group on Monday, he explained the reasoning behind choosing the complex.
“Obviously, I have been working from looking at maps of the venue, and it is a very unique venue for us to play,” Lyman said. “I chose it because of the festival atmosphere that we can provide at that facility. Anyone can book and play in an amphitheatre, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but playing at the shooting complex will give us a diversity that we need.”
Lyman said that he plans to visit the facility before the event to see it first hand if possible.
“I am definitely looking at touring the venue when I can, if my schedule will allow,” Lyman said. “This venue will serve as our St. Louis marketed venue, so it will be a regional event for Sparta to host. Hopefully we can engage some of the artists on the bill in participating in some of the activities that the venue provides, possibly for a charity fundraiser. More things like that will be forthcoming. I am definitely excited to be able to bring this tour to such a unique venue.”
With a six-decade career and 200 plus albums, headliner Willie Nelson is the creative genius behind the historic recordings of Crazy, Red Headed Stranger and Stardust. He has earned every conceivable award as a musician and amassed reputable credentials as an author, actor and activist. In 2009, his new album releases include Naked Willie, Willie and the Wheel and the critically acclaimed American Classic. This past April, Willie Nelson's Country Music, produced by Grammy and Oscar winning T Bone Burnett, was released on Rounder Records and recently received a GRAMMY Nomination for Best Americana Album.
Country rebel artist Jamey Johnson is one of the hottest tickets in the music industry today, much due to the success of his smash single, “In Color.” His current effort is the two-disc collection, “The Guitar Song,” and is available in stores now.
Curt Jeffers of Borders North Productions, is serving as the local contact for the promoter, and will be coordinating local services for the show.
“We were in negotiations of bringing in the IPRA (International Professional Rodeo Association) event in September to the complex, when we were contacted by the Lyman group about hosting the Throwdown Tour,” Jeffers said. “We are looking into bringing an artist in for that show, and that’s how the connection was made for this tour to look at our market.”
The 2011 version of the tour is second year of the tour, and will feature numerous artists with Nelson and Johnson including Randy Houser, Lee Brice, Brantley Gilbert, Craig Campbell & Lukas Nelson & the Promise of the Realm who are among the initial acts confirmed to join Nelson for this nationwide country music tour kicking off in Philadelphia, PA on May 27 and running through July 4, where the tour will end with a big 4th of July bang.
The only tour of its kind in the world of country, Willie Nelson’s Country Throwdown Tour mixes top country music artists with emerging singer-songwriters in a festival environment at an affordable ticket price. Country Throwdown offers a relaxing atmosphere where fans enjoy a constant stream of music on multiple stages all day long - doors open daily at 3:00 p.m. and the shows continue throughout the day until 11 p.m.
The festival show will feature on main stage, as well as two side stages, one that will feature up and coming country artists, sponsored by the famous BlueBird Cafe of Nashville.
Tour founder and co-producer Kevin Lyman says, “Much like the Vans Warped Tour, Willie Nelson’s Country Throwdown brings together a collective group of diverse artists. Not only do we have the opportunity to work with the original and legendary, bad ass Willie Nelson, we’re happy to have the return of today’s bad ass Jamey Johnson. I just feel lucky to be working with all these country artists.”
“We are so excited to have Willie Nelson on board this year and build on the success of last year’s tour,” says Sarah Baer, co-producer for the tour, “We are the only touring country music festival, offering a truly unique experience for country music fans who can’t travel to an event like CMA Music fest…we bring the legends and new faces closer to fan’s homes.”
Ticket prices, including pre-sale and VIP packages will be announced soon.
A portion of the ticket price will benefit Unite the United. Ticket pre-sale begins Friday, February 11 and sale to general public begins February 18 at 10 a.m. For more information, or to purchase tickets visit www.countrythrowdown.com.
“This is a great thing to bring an artist of this magnitude to Sparta,” Sparta Mayor Rob Link said. “The city will, of course, endorse this event and help in any way that is feasible regarding everything from behind-the-scenes operations to crowd and traffic control. We are excited that this event will be taking place right here in Sparta.”
Jeffers said that his role in the event will be working with the production company to coordinate local services, and that official announcements regarding artists, and ticketing will come directly from the producer of the event.
“Our office here at Border North will not be handling ticketing or public concerned issues with the event,” Jeffers said. “We are working the behind-the scenes production and advance details with the Lyman group.”
“This is only the beginning of what Border Productions, Inc. sees as a bright future for these types of events at the shooting complex,” Jeffers added. “Chris Hespen and the entire staff at the complex has been wonderful to work with in getting this, and other events scheduled and worked out. We will be announcing some other events and artists in the near future as well. We are working hard to bring quality entertainment and events to our region, while using a facility that has such a diversity that will allow all types of events to be held at one place.”
In addition to Willie’s Throwdown Tour and rodeo, a barbecue competition that will include 200-250 teams is also being planned for this summer. More details are to be release in the near future.