No Country In Kentucky

Organizers at the Kentucky Speedway canceled the “Summer Night Jam” concert featuring Alan Jackson and Big & Rich August 4th, one day before the event was to take place.

“We will proceed a little more cautiously in the future,” Speedway GM Mark Cassis told The Enquirer of Cincinatti. The Speedway was promoting the five-artist event, which would have been one of the biggest country concerts in the area.

“It was a combination of a few things,” Cassis told the Enquirer. “Routing issues; producing five acts at one time, which is not something we’ve done ourselves; the length of time we had to sell the show; production costs; and we underperformed on ticket sales.”

The event also had Merle Haggard, Shannon Brown, and Deana Carter in the lineup.

Cassis told the Kentucky Post a week before that the Speedway was trying to make its mark as a concert venue.

“Our objective is to continue putting our foot in the doors – keep doing concerts and show these agents across the country that, ‘Hey, there is a venue here,'” Cassis said.

“I was bidding on shows from Metallica to Bon Jovi to Kenny Chesney to The Rolling Stones – anything that had a stadium flair to it, I had my nose in there,” he said. “That’s what our venue really has to do.

“But it takes marquee artists to really pull it off. We couldn’t get it done in ’06. So the next step is to build our own show if we couldn’t buy a national tour.”

He would not elaborate on the routing issues, but said the track will not attempt multi-act shows in the future. Management representatives for Alan Jackson and Big & Rich told the Enquirer they did not experience routing problems.

The Sparta, Ky.-based race track has held successful concerts before, including a Tim McGraw show last summer that attracted 16,000 fans, a 2002 Vans Warped Tour that drew 6,400 and a Metallica concert in 2000 that drew more than 50,000, the Post said.

Fans were able to receive full refunds starting August 7th.