Lady Antebellum, Zac Brown set for Superfest

For its fourth Memorial Day weekend at LSU’s Tiger Stadium, the 2013 Bayou Country Superfest will feature Lady Antebellum, the country trio that’s sold millions of albums and won seven Grammy awards, and the Zac Brown Band, another immensely popular group with million-selling albums and many hit singles.

Lady Antebellum tops the lineup May 25 and the Zac Brown Band headlines May 26.

“When we were given the honor of bringing this festival to Baton Rouge and LSU,” festival producer-director Quint Davis said during a Tuesday morning news conference at Tiger Stadium, “we had one simple goal: bring together the biggest stars in country music for the best show in America, the show that you can only see here in Baton Rouge at Tiger Stadium on Memorial Day weekend.”

Previous Bayou Country Superfest acts included Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean. Although Superfest acts are categorized as country music, their mainstream popularity often takes them to the top of the pop charts.

The 2013 Superfest lineup also features Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Darius Rucker, The Band Perry, Thompson Square, Rodney Atkins, Love and Theft and Frankie Ballard.

“These acts are some of the biggest acts in American music, period,” Davis said.

Davis, wearing an elaborately decorated country-and-western shirt that was custom made in Nashville and made-in-Texas blue alligator boots bearing the images of the Louisiana State Capitol, the state bird — a pelican — and musical notes, unveiled the lineup in the presence of officials, including Mayor-President Melvin L. “Kip” Holden and Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne.

“This is a tremendous event at a time when Baton Rouge was otherwise dormant,” Dardenne said. “We’re bringing people from all over the country and all over the world to Baton Rouge on Memorial Day weekend.”

Bayou Country Superfest, Holden said, has become the city’s internationally known signature event.

Paul Arrigo, president and CEO of Visit Baton Rouge, noted that local hotel occupancy during the weekend of the 2012 Bayou Country Superfest exceeded hotel occupancy during the recent LSU-Alabama football game.

“We had a huge weekend in November because of this great football team,” Arrigo said. “But from a hotel point of view, from a visitation point of view, Superfest surpassed that weekend.”

Following Superfest’s inaugural year attendance of 85,000, festival attendance held steady at 75,000 in 2011 and 2012.

“We set the bar high and every year we like to jump over that bar,” said Davis, who also produces the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. “We look forward to keeping this tradition going, keeping this festival going for the long run now.”

Unlike Jazz Fest, which started in 1970 with attendance in the hundreds and built through decades to attendance in the hundreds of thousands, Davis believed Superfest had to begin with major-event ambition.

“We felt like there wasn’t time anymore to grow something from a little backyard thing,” he said. “So the approach was to start it off as big as it can be. Jazz Fest now has some of the biggest stars, but Bayou Country Superfest, from year one, had Taylor Swift and Kenny Chesney. It drew 85,000 people from 47 states.

“That was the idea with Superfest, to roll the dice, a $6 million show,” Davis added.

“It succeeded beyond our wildest expectations.”

Reserve-seat Bayou Country Superfest tickets in two-day packages and reserve parking go on sale at 10 a.m. Dec. 6.

Tickets are available through http://www.Ticketmaster.com, all TicketMaster outlets or by calling (800) 745-3000. Single day tickets will go on sale in the coming weeks. Tickets also will be available at the Baton Rouge River Center box office.