Strait, Stapleton Playing Bayou Country Superfest

Bayou Country Superfest is returning to New Orleans for a second year and this time around the festival has snagged George Strait’s only festival appearance of 2018. Festival Productions CEO Quint Davis points out that it’s also Strait’s only stadium gig of the year.

The Memorial Weekend event takes place May 25-27, kicking off with the “Salute to America” fireworks display over the Mississippi River on Friday night, sponsored by the New Orleans Tourism & Marketing Corporation.

Randy Houser, Michael Ray and Runaway June will take the stage May 26 for a free concert at Champions Square. “Bayou Saturday Night” is presented by Louisiana Seafood.

The holiday weekend extravaganza concludes with the big concert at Mercedes Benz Superdome. Headlined by Strait, Sunday’s show also features Chris Stapleton, Little Big Town, Kacey Musgraves and

Tickets went on sale today, Nov. 2.

Bayou Country Superfest 2018 Lineup Poster
– Bayou Country Superfest 2018 Lineup Poster

Pollstar checked in with Davis to chat about Bayou Country Superfest’s ninth annual event. The festival had been hosted at LSU Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge from 2010-2016 until the event relocated while the Louisiana State University venue went through renovations.

Davis points out that the move to New Orleans has worked out wonderfully, thanks to the prime location of the Mercedes Benz Superdome being within walking distance of prime hotel rooms and the French quarter. And it’s hard to beat a weekend in the Big Easy.

Strait played the Baton Rouge version of Bayou Country Fest in 2014, marking one of his last gigs before he retired from full-fledged touring.

As for how Strait’s 2018 headline appearance came out, Davis made sure to give props to Louie Messina of Messina Touring Group, a subsidiary of AEG. As Davis noted, Louis Messina is the exclusive promoter of George Strait, along with a number of other major artists like Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran.

“So [Messina’s] from New Orleans. I’ve worked with him for the whole 10 years I’ve been in the country business,” Davis said. “We’ve had Taylor Swift [perform at Bayou Country Superfest] thanks to him, we’ve had Kenny Chesney, and George. … AEG is a partner with Messina Touring Group and Louis [took] the show on and [worked] with us to get George.”

Davis added, “It’s an honor because … at the end of the day, it’s going to be George’s decision.”

Davis is particularly excited that the lineup features Strait and Stapleton.

“It’s about George Strait, that’s the deal, but George Strait and Chris Stapleton – what an authentic lightning bolt. … We feel like the pairing of George Strait and Chris Stapleton is just magic.”

“And then Little Big Town is on it. Little Big Town, of course has all these hits. Little Big Town has won every award you could win – they’ve won Grammys, CMA [awards], they’ve won everything. They’re a wonderful group, wonderful.”

Of course, that’s not all because fans will also be treated to performances by Musgraves and Midland. And don’t forget the free concert on Saturday.

One side note – Davis responded to reports that that Bayou Country Superfest has significantly lost ticket sales over the years by clarifying that comparing the 60,000 attendance figure in 2017 to the 100,000 figure for 2016 isn’t an accurate comparison because the 2016 event was a three-day event versus 2017 being a two-day ticketed festival, with a third day devoted to a free concert at Champions Square. Therefore, the average daily attendance was 30,000 in 2017 versus 33,000 in 2016.

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