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George Strait smashes US attendance record for ticketed gig

Country music legend George Strait has set an all-time attendance record for a ticketed concert in the United States.

The Texas native drew 110,905 fans to Texas A&M’s Kyle Field in College Station on Saturday 15 June, according to Billboard.

The record was previously held by the Grateful Dead, who had 107,019 fans in attendance at their 1977 show at Raceway Park in New Jersey.

Strait’s Saturday show also set a new record for Texas A&M Kyle Field for a single event (previously recorded on 11 October 2014, at 110,633, for a Texas A&M game against Ole Miss).

The event, dubbed George Strait: The King at Kyle Field, featured special guests, fellow Lone Star natives and MCA labelmates, Parker McCollum and Catie Offerman.

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

“George has always said he has the best fans, and there’s nothing like a Texas crowd”

“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.”

Strait is no stranger to setting records. According to his website, he holds more than 20 attendance records at music venues across the US.

The 72-year-old singer also had the most No. 1 singles of any artist in any genre and is the only artist to boast a Top 10 hit every year for three decades, Billboard reported.

Strait, whose new album Cowboys and Dreamers drops in September, will continue his 10-stop stadium outing alongside Chris Stapleton, supported by Little Big Town.

The country stalwarts are due to perform in Salt Lake City later this month, followed by concerts in Detroit and Chicago in July, and a show in Las Vegas in December.

“We’ve spent the last few years playing speciality one-off shows in markets he’ll likely never play again,” added Messina. “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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Messina Touring Group names three new VPs

AEG Presents subsidiary Messina Touring Group has named three new vice presidents.

Keena Cheatham rises from promoter rep to VP of touring, LeeAnn Rotondo is upped from director of ticketing to VP of ticketing and Lauren Caire is elevated from director of finance to VP of finance.

“It thrills me to see our MTG team grow – these individuals are just another example of the incredible MTG team,” says CEO Louis Messina said in a statement. “Watching them grow and achieve makes me so happy; the success of our team is my biggest accomplishment.”

“The success of our team is my biggest accomplishment’

Cheatham, who joined MTG in 2013 as a promoter rep on Taylor Swift’s Red tour, has played a role in over half of the MTG roster in both the pop and country music sectors. Cheatham leads the charge for some of the promoter’s biggest clients, including serving as the point person for Sheeran since 2014 and playing an instrumental part in Eric Church’s The Gather Again tour.

Rotondo joined MTG in 2015 as a ticket manager, primarily to assist with ticketing for Swift’s 1989 tour. Nine years later, she spearheads all ticketing for Swift’s tours, as well as many other MTG clients including Church, Kenny Chesney and Blake Shelton. Under her direction, ticketing at MTG has evolved from an isolated process led by each touring team into a centralized department.

Caire joined MTG in 2015 as a senior accountant and has since managed finances for the company and all of its tours, including a marquee year in 2023 anchored by record-breaking tours from artists including Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and George Strait. Additionally, Caire managed the design and opening of MTG’s first office outside of its Austin home base in 2019, expanding the promoter’s presence into Nashville with a permanent footprint in her native city. She is currently overseeing MTG Nashville’s upcoming move to the new Nashville Yards development.


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