Strait to headline expanded Superfest

Bayou Country Superfest announced Monday that country music superstar George Strait will headline opening night of the 2014 festival, which is being expanded to three days over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Strait will perform May 23 in LSU’s Tiger Stadium along with a yet to be announced major act. Coming near the end of the second leg of Strait’s “Cowboy Rides Away Tour,” the singer’s Superfest appearance will also be his only festival appearance.

The addition of Strait to the 2014 Superfest lineup prompted festival officials to expand the event from its usual two days to three days.

“The other nights were coming along and getting booked and being designed,” Superfest producer-director Quint Davis said of the festival’s expected Saturday and Sunday music. “But I thought George needed his own night. This is a big deal, George’s last time on a stage in Louisiana.

“We agreed that Friday night was the way to do it,” Davis added. “It adds a new dimension to the festival, not only that it’s Friday night, but it’s a classic, timeless form of country music.”

The complete Superfest lineup and ticket information for the festival, to be held Memorial Day weekend, May 23-May 25, will be released on Oct. 29.

Strait, during a career that spans more than 30 years, has sold 70 million albums in the U.S and released 60 No. 1 hits, more than any other artist in any genre.

In November at a ceremony in New York City, Strait will receive Billboard’s Legend of Live Award, the magazine’s most prestigious award for touring. He’ll be the first country music act to receive the honor.

Strait recently renewed his contract with MCA Records. He’ll continue to make new recordings and, following his farewell tour, play select dates throughout the country.

The 2013 Superfest drew 70,000 attendees from nearly every U.S. state and multiple countries. Strait’s 2014 appearance follows such previous Superfest acts as Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Jason Alden and Miranda Lambert.

Davis stopped short of saying the festival will continue as a three-day event after 2014.

“That’s something to be decided,” he said. “I would hope so, but it has to be something really special. This is a very young festival. A festival isn’t mature until you get to eight or 10 years.”

Bayou Country Superfest, is produced by Festival Productions BCM, LLC, a subsidiary of Festival Productions, Inc.-New Orleans. The festival is co-produced by AEG Live and is produced in association with The Messina Group.