Fans head for the country, as Baton Rouge brings fifth music festival
Bayou Country Superfest returns to Baton Rouge for its fifth Memorial Day weekend at LSU’s Tiger Stadium.
The country music festival expands to three days this year, adding Friday night, featuring George Strait, to its usual Saturday and Sunday country music lineups. See the main stage schedule here. Superfest is produced by the New Orleans-based Festival Productions Inc., the same company that stages the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
8:45 p.m. Friday
Classic country star George Strait headlines Superfest’s opening night. Strait launched the final leg of his “Cowboy Rides Away Tour” Jan. 9 at the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City. The farewell tour has just three more dates, the first of which is Bayou Country Superfest.
Strait’s tour ends June 7 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. That show’s stellar guest list includes former Superfest performer Kenny Chesney, Vince Gill, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Lee Ann Womack and Superfest acts Jason Aldean and Eric Church.
Strait isn’t completely riding away from music or performing. He will perform select dates following his farewell tour and continue to record for his longtime label, MCA Records.
10 p.m. Saturday
One of country music’s biggest stars, ACM Awards Entertainer of the Year Luke Bryan recently achieved a No. 1 Billboard country albums chart debut with his digital EP, “Spring Break 6… Like We Ain’t Ever.” “Spring Break 6” also charted high on Billboard’s Top 200 albums chart, debuting at No. 2. Bryan returns to Superfest following his 2013 appearance at the event.
10 p.m. Sunday
A country star who puts a lot of rock in his country, singer-guitarist Jason Aldean’s show at Bayou Country Superfest will be his first stadium show of 2014. “When She Says Baby,” the fifth single taken from Aldean’s million-selling album, “Night Train,” recently became his 13th No. 1 song.
7 p.m. Friday
Dynamic and enduring country singer and actress Reba has sold 56 million albums and released 64 Top 10 hits. She’s won dozens of music industry awards, including two Grammys and 15 American Music Awards.
Reba released her 34th album, “All the Women I Am,” in 2010. It reached No. 3 on the country albums chart and produced a hit single, “Turn On the Radio.” Reba’s 2009 album, “Keep on Loving You,” debuted simultaneously at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 200 albums chart and country albums chart. Decades into her career, three singles from her “Loving You” album reached the Top 20, one of them all the way to No. 1.
FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE
8:15 p.m. Saturday
Florida Georgia Line, featuring Brian Kelley from Ormond Beach, Fla., and Tyler Hubbard from Monroe, Ga., is one of country music’s top breakout acts of the past two years.
Since the 2012 release of the duo’s debut single, “Cruise,” Florida Georgia Line has amassed amazing statistics: 14 million singles sold worldwide; a million copies of the debut album “Here’s to the Good Times” sold; and four consecutive No. 1 hits (“Cruise,” “Stay,” “Get Your Shine On” and “Round Here”). “Cruise” alone, including its remix by rapper and singer-songwriter Nelly, has sold 6.9 million downloads. It’s also the best-selling country single in history.
6:45 p.m. Sunday
Like his fellow 2014 Superfest act, Florida Georgia Line, Breaux Bridge native Hunter Hayes is one of country’s new stars. The 22-year-old singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist’s new album, “Storyline,” debuted at No. 1 last week on Billboard’s country albums chart and No. 1 on Soundscan’s digital albums chart. “Storyline” sold nearly 70,000 copies in its first week.
Hayes can also claim millions of records sold, four Grammy nominations and a Guinness World Records’ record for most concerts played in a 24-hour period in multiple cities. He achieved the latter feat two weekends ago, playing shows in 10 northeastern cities, beginning with Times Square in New York.
8:15 p.m. Sunday
North Carolina native Eric Church released his debut single, “How ’Bout You,” in early 2006. The song reached the Top 20. Church’s album debut, “Sinners Like Me,” released that summer, was a hit, too.
When Church appeared at Bayou Country Superfest in 2012, his career had been high gear since the summer of 2011. His album, “Chief,” released in July 2011, produced the hit singles “Drink in My Hand,” “Springsteen,” “Creepin’ ” and “Like Jesus Does.” He returns to Superfest following another well-received album, this year’s “The Outsiders.”
Bayou Country Superfest’s Fan Fest, a free event held outside of Tiger Stadium, returns with three days of music by local acts on the Bud Light Stage. Fan Fest runs 2 p.m.-6 p.m. Friday and 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Fan Fest also features an artist meet-and-greet area where fans can meet Bayou Country Superfest performers. DJs from Baton Rouge country stations WTGE-FM and WYNK-FM and New Orleans’ WNOE-FM will stage games and give away prizes.
Advanced vehicle parking is sold out. Cash-only parking will be available for first-come first-served purchase on event days in lots 202 (Cypress Drive); 108 (Skip Bertman Drive near Nicholson Drive); 406 (Skip Bertman Drive); 408 (Gourrier Lane); and 409 (Gourrier Lane). Prices for parking in LSU lots are $15-$30 per day.
Vehicle parking lots will be open beginning at 9 a.m. on event days. There is no overnight parking in the vehicle parking lots and vehicles may be towed if left in the lots overnight.
ADA parking spaces are available for advanced purchase in lot 401. There are a limited number of parking spaces in Lot 108 that provide shuttle access to the stadium. ADA lot 108 is sold on event days only.
Patrons interested in purchasing RV parking in LSU’s Touchdown Village should visit BayouCountrySuperfest.com. Prices range from $350-$550 for a weekend pass and are sold first-come first-served.
For information on purchasing a box suite or premium reserved RV parking in lot B, contact the Bayou Country Superfest Ticket & Suite Coordinator at (504) 410-4131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
OTHER TRANSPORTATION/STADIUM CONSTRUCTION
Due to construction, North Stadium and South Stadium drives will be closed to automobile traffic. North Stadium Drive will also be partially closed to pedestrians.
Taxis and hotel shuttles will have a dedicated drop-off and pick-up area at the north end of Lot O at West Chimes Street. Full size coaches should drop off and pick up at the Bus Parking lot off Skip Bertman Drive. Information about the Baton Rouge Capitol Area Transit System can be found at brcats.com or by calling (225) 389-8282.