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George Strait on pace to break US attendance record

Country music legend George Strait could break the all-time attendance record for a ticketed concert in the US with his June performance at a Texas football stadium.

The one-off show at Texas A&M University’s stadium, dubbed The King at Kyle Field, has already sold 100,000 tickets since its announcement on 28 March. His only home-state performance this year, set for 15 June, the potentially record-breaking venture will see him play in the round during the venue’s first-ever concert. He’ll be supported by two additional Texas natives, Parker McCollum and Catie Offerman.

While seats are still available, including platinum-level seats ranging up to US$2,750, the gig could break the standing record of 107,019 set by the Grateful Dead in 1977 during their Terrapin Station Tour at New Jesery’s Raceway Park. Internationally, Italian singer Vasco Rossi holds the overall record with over 225,000 tickets sold for his 2017 show at Modena, Italy’s Enzo Ferrari Park.

Strait’s performance could also break the College Station football stadium’s attendance record, set at 110,633 during a 2014 matchup between the Aggies and the University of Mississippi’s Rebels.

“George has always said he has the best fans, and there’s nothing like a Texas crowd,” says longtime promoter and Messina Touring Group founder, Louis Messina.

“We knew the show at Kyle Field would be exciting as it’s the first-ever one of its size to be held in the stadium, but even I didn’t expect we’d sell over 100,000 tickets in just a few days. He’ll play to more people in one night than we did at AT&T in 2014! It’s a testament to George’s reputation as an entertainer and performer that here we are, still setting records and personal bests years later.”

“Bringing these magical nights from the King of Country music to fans has been one of the greatest honors of my life”

The homecoming gig is on pace to break Strait’s personal attendance record of 104,793, set in 2014 during his Cowboy Rides Away stop at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The finale to his 47-show retirement tour grossed over $18.1 million, a record for the largest gross at a single-show country concert. Strait has since played speciality productions, including his 17-weekend Vegas residency Strait to Vegas at T-Mobile Arena (20,000-capacity).

“The King of Country Music”, Strait’s career spans five decades and includes a multitude of accolades, including a Grammy; Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year in 1989, 1990, and 2013; Academy of Country Music Awards Entertainer of the Year in 1990 and 2014; and induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006.

The 71-year-old has landed 60 No. 1 hits, the record across all charts by an artist in any genre of music, a record he’s held since 2013 with Give It All We Got Tonight. He’s also the only artist to have a top 10 hit every year for 30 years and has sold more than 105 million records worldwide.

Strait’s upcoming performance — his first one in Texas since 2022 — lands amid his 10-stop summer stadium outing alongside Chris Stapleton, supported by Little Big Town. Kicking off 4 May at Indianapolis’s Lucas Oil Stadium (70,000), the country pioneer will play MetLife Stadium (82,500) in New Jersey, Utah’s Rice-Eccles Stadium (51,444), and Soldier Field (61,500) in Chicago. After a break in the autumn, the tour will wrap up at Las Vegas’s Allegiant Stadium (65,000) on 7 December.

“We’ve spent the last few years playing specialty one-off shows in markets he’ll likely never play again,” Messina adds. “I’m excited about this summer of special shows with Chris Stapleton – it’s always been such a great experience for the fans. Bringing these magical nights from the King of Country music to fans has been one of the greatest honours of my life.”

 


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IQ 126 out now: The 1975, Country, Mid-level touring

IQ 126, the latest issue of the international live music industry’s favourite magazine, is available to read online now.

The April/May edition goes behind the scenes of The 1975’s Still… At Their Very Best tour, examines the rapid rise of country music around the world, and explores the difficulties facing the mid-tier of the live music touring business.

Elsewhere, the issue marks Mercury Wheels co-founder Barnaby Harrod’s 25 years as a promoter, dives into Switzerland’s thriving industry, and reports on the 36th edition of ILMC.

For this edition’s comments and columns, Pembe Tokluhan shares the inspiration behind launching a company that strives to increase representation of women, trans, and non-binary people working behind the scenes of live events.

In addition, creative comms guru Ella McWilliam (Full Fat) monitors the rapidly changing media landscape and provides tips on how festivals can entice Gen Z to become ticket-buying customers.

As always, the majority of the magazine’s content will appear online in some form in the next four weeks.

However, if you can’t wait for your fix of essential live music industry features, opinion and analysis, click here to subscribe to IQ from just £8 a month – or check out what you’re missing out on with the limited preview below:

 


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Garth Brooks to headline Amazon’s first Black Friday concert

Amazon Music has announced its first-ever Black Friday Amazon Music Live concert, headlined by American country star Garth Brooks.

Brooks’s performance will be livestreamed from the grand opening of his new downtown Nashville bar, Friends in Low Places Bar & Honky-Tonk, giving fans around the world a front-row seat for one of his well-known ‘Dive Bar’ concerts.

The sold-out show has already earned over three million ticket requests from Brooks’ fans.

For those unable to attend, Prime Video and Twitch will air the 24 November concert from 19:00 ET. Viewers will have free access to Amazon Music Live, including viewers without an Amazon account or a Prime membership.

“Not only will the people see the Friends bar for the first time, but they will also hear new music live for the first time”

“We’ve already seen over three million entries to win a chance to attend, and thanks to our friends at Amazon, this episode will ensure that everybody who wants to see this show can,” said Brooks in a statement.

“Not only will the people see the Friends bar for the first time, but they will also hear new music live for the first time…and if you know us, we will be playing the old stuff, as well.”

Sponsored by Verizon, the AML Black Friday special will air after Black Friday Football—the first-ever NFL game played on Black Friday in history, streaming on Prime Video.

Previous episodes of Season Two of AML included Ed Sheeran, Feid, Lil Durk, Trippie Red, Machine Gun Kelly, Metro Boomin with Post Malone, Nav and Offset. Meanwhile, Peso Pluma became the first musical Mexicana artist to perform on AML.

 


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Live Nation details inaugural FairWell festival

Live Nation has unveiled the maiden edition of FairWell festival, taking place in Oregon (US) this July.

Sheryl Crow, Zach Bryan, Willie Nelson & Family, Turnpike Troubadours, Gary Clark Jr. and Mt. Joy will perform at Deschutes County Fairgrounds in the heart of the High Desert in Central Oregon between 21–23 July for the event.

Over 36 artists in the folk, blues, rock, country, and soul spheres will perform across three stages for the three-day festival.

Over 36 artists in the folk, blues, rock, country, and soul spheres will perform across three stages for the three-day festival

According to Live Nation, the festival will celebrate its “native Oregon spirit by bringing fans a range of locally sourced culinary options such as a craft beer hall, an exceptional wine experience with a curated selection, and an array of cuisine from local favourites, as well as unique fan experiences including a local craft market, fairground attractions, and more.”

Morgan Wade, Trampled By Turtles, Yola, Band of Horses, Luke Grimes and Charley Crockett are also slated to perform at FairWell festival, which starts at US$199 for three-day GA tickets.

 


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The Chicks announce 2023 world arena tour

The Chicks have announced a 37-date world tour, with dates in the UK, Europe and North America.

The trio – formerly known as the Dixie Chicks – will kick off the tour on 20 June at Spektrum in Olso, Norway, eventually finishing up at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena on 18 September.

The CAA-repped band’s UK run of shows will be The Chicks’ first dates in the country for seven years and support will come from Maren Morris.

“This last year on the road has been a whirlwind for us, but it’s time to bring the party to the UK and Europe,” say The Chicks. “We can’t wait to see everyone and play for all our fans across the pond – it’s been a long time coming, and we can’t wait to get back!”

The Chicks released their fifth studio album ‘Gaslighter’ in 2020. The trio’s comeback album was co-produced by Jack Antonoff and was their first since 2006’s ‘Taking The Long Way’ – the group’s last album released under the Dixie Chicks name.

JUNE
20 – Oslo, Spektrum*
21 – Stockholm, Avicii Arena*
23 – Amsterdam, Ziggo Dome*
27 – Cardiff, Cardiff Castle*
28 – Glasgow, OVO Arena*
30 – Dublin, 3Arena*

JULY
2 – Birmingham, Utilita Arena*
4 – Manchester. AO Arena*
21 – Tulsa, BOK Center^
22 – Little Rock, Simmons Bank Arena^
25 – Louisville, KFC Yum Center^
27 – Nashville, Bridgestone Arena^
29 – Knoxville, Thompson-Boiling Arena^
30 – Greensboro, Greensboro Coliseum^

AUGUST
2 – Columbia, Merriweather Post Pavilion^
3 – Bethel, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts^
5 – Gilford, Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion^
6 – Saratoga Springs, Saratoga Springs Performing Arts Center^
10 – Hershey, Hersheypark Stadium#
11 – Canandaigua, CMAC#
13 – Bangor, Maine Savings Amphitheater^
16 – Columbus, Nationwide Arena#
17 – Grand Rapids, The Van Andel Arena#
19 – Des Moines, Iowa Fairgrounds#
25 – St. Paul, Minnesota State Fair^
26 – Madison, Kohl Center Arena#
29 – Kansas City, T-Mobile Center#
30 – Omaha, CHI Health Center Arena#

SEPTEMBER
1 – Sioux Falls, Denny Sanford Premier Center#
5 – Vancouver, Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena*
7 – Calgary, The Scotiabank Saddledome*
8 – Edmonton, Rogers Place*
10 – Saskatoon, SaskTel Centre*
12 – Winnipeg, Canada Life Centre*
15 – Ottawa, Richcraft Life at Canadian Tire Centre*
16 – London, Budweiser Gardens*
18 – Toronto, Scotiabank Arena*

Maren Morris will be supporting dates marked with *
Ben Harper will be supporting the dates marked with #
Wild Rivers will be supporting the dates marked with ^

 


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