C3 Goes Country

C3 has announced its first foray into large-scale country music event promotion, and it’s a doozy: The two-day, five-stage Big State Festival is expected to take place at the Texas World Speedway in College Station, Texas, October 13-14.

Tim McGraw, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Willie Nelson are among the headliners.

The speedway – a former tour stop for Nascar events – covers more than 600 acres of land, with plenty of room for RVs and barbecuing. Not only that, but the speedway is expected to be put to use twice a day with 30-minute stock car races.

There are 50 artists on the books, including Trace Adkins, Dierks Bentley, Los Lonely Boys, Drive-By Truckers, Miranda Lambert, Billy Currington, Heartland and Eric Church, with more to come. The Richard Petty Driving Experience will conduct the stock car races and a "Pit Petting Zoo" will let fans check out the cars. The BBQ Showdown will include celebrity chefs and one of the largest prize purses in the country, according to a statement.

Charles Attal, Charlie Jones and Charlie Walker have made clear since February that their company, C3, was pursuing a country music festival. Even though C3 is based in Austin and the three C’s have promoted throughout Texas, the company is more associated with the alt-country and indie-rock of the Austin City Limits Music Festival and Chicago’s Lollapalooza.

C3 canvassed the U.S. for the perfect venue before going with a parcel of land in the heart of Texas, according to Jones. Despite the company’s background in festivals, the venture into country music was not second nature, he said.

"It’s a lot different. It’s a completely different demographic," Jones told Pollstar. "Country music and country music festivals are not your traditional festival format. We found in our research that country music fans demand a lot more than just good music. We’ve been in the festival business for quite some time and are just now getting around to a country music festival. There are a lot of reasons for that. We’ve been researching and watching the country music format for quite some time."

Because the festival will take place on a speedway, Jones called former Nascar racer Lyn St. James, who put C3 in touch with the Richard Petty Driving Experience training school. The five stages are expected to be silent twice a day while 35,000 to 50,000 fans in the middle of the raceway watch the cars go ’round.

Tickets are $75. There are no service charges, Attal and Walker told Pollstar. C3 recently announced a similar all-inclusive ticket price for Lollapalooza.