ROCK COUNTRY: Rock The South takes place July 20-22, topped by Chris Stapleton, Zach Bryan, Cody Johnson and Riley Green. (Courtesy venue)
Pepsi Rock the South is personal for co-founder and partner Shane Quick.
As president and owner of Premier Productions, Quick produces shows and festivals around the country. But the fundraiser he started in his hometown of Cullman, Alabama (population 18,635), in 2012 after tornados devastated the region is the one that hits home.
“It means the world to us,” said Quick. “Between the money we raise for local charities, economic impact and all the happy faces, we get to see the fruits of our labor the other 51 weeks of the year.”
Rock the South, set for July 20-22, started as a one-day event in a city park and has grown into a three-day festival with music and camping at York Farm. This year’s projected attendance is 100,000. Comparable to major fests in size, Rock the South keeps a community mindset.
The festival has provided more than $1 million to local charities including Cullman City Parks and Recreation, Children’s Hospital of Alabama, The Link of Cullman County, Alabama Forever and Cullman Caring for Kids. According to organizers, the festival has an annual economic impact on the small town, which is known for producing poultry and sweet potatoes, of $20 million to $30 million.
Pepsi Rock The South returns with a three-day lineup that includes headliners Chris Stapleton, Zach Bryan, Cody Johnson and Riley Green. Other performers are Bailey Zimmerman, Travis Tritt, Jo Dee Messina, Chase Matthew, Drake Milligan, Mackenzie Carpenter, Madeline Edwards, J.R. Carroll, Ella Langley and Tristan Baugh.
Ticket prices run from $150 for general admission to $370 for VIP access that includes parking, private restrooms and exclusive access to concessions.
“We welcomed more than 65,000 fans last year, and we’re looking forward to expanding to three days with some amazing headliners and artists this year,” said Quick. “It’s been an exciting journey to see this festival continue to grow and give back.”
Quick’s impact on touring extends well beyond the borders of Cullman, which is an I-65 exit ramp town 50 miles north of Birmingham, Alabam aand 145 miles south of Nashville, Tennessee. Premier Productions presents 2,000 concerts and events a year, including high-profile faith-based tours, and has sold 7 million tickets in eight years.
Their roster of family shows includes Dude Perfect Pandemonium Tour, Blippi — the wonderful World Tour; Baby Shark Live!’ Cocomelon Live!; and JJ’s Journey and Bluey’s Big Play.
On the music side, the independent production company has produced Switchfoot This is Our Christmas Tour; Scotty McCreery; and the SEC throwdown known as Auburn Rodeo.
Premier Productions is also part of the recently formed LiveCo company, formed following the consolidation of five concert promotion companies: Premier, Icon Concerts, BASE Entertainment, Rush Concerts and Peachtree Entertainment.
Quick and his team bring a wealth of experience to Rock the South.
“It takes an incredible team to pull off an event for over 100,000 people,” said Nathan Baugh, Rock the South co-founder and partner and owner of 46 Logistics and 46 Entertainment. “Using people and companies that tour just makes sense. They know how to solve problems and keep large amounts of people safe. With my background in touring, you will find lots of past touring relationships managing departments and people at our events.”
For Quick, it’s something more. “We wouldn’t consider Rock the South work,” he said. “It is a labor of love.”