Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rascal Flatts on tap for 2013 Foothills Fall Festival
By Steve Wildsmith | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
One of the biggest names in country music, along with a legendary Southern rock group that’ll be slightly familiar to Foothills Fall Festival fans, is coming to Maryville in October.
City of Maryville officials will announce today that multi-platinum selling country super-group Rascal Flatts will perform on Sunday, Oct. 13; and Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, who headlined in 2010, will perform Saturday, Oct. 12.
Friday night’s headliner, which has yet to be confirmed, will be announced before tickets go on sale July 20, but Friday’s lineup is far from incomplete: In addition to a popular local band, Knoxville-based Americana act The Black Lillies — who have
performed on the Grand Ole Opry stage more than a dozen times and whose most recent album, “Runaway Freeway Blues,” debuted at No. 43 on the Billboard Country Albums chart — will perform that night. Final confirmations on the remaining slots are expected to be received by the end of the week, but the excitement over this year’s announcement has built up to a point that it’s uncontainable, according to city Community Relations Manager Jane Groff.
“We’ve fielded hundreds of phone calls and emails asking who will be performing at this year’s festival,” Groff said. “People have been buzzing about it for weeks, and we’re too ecstatic about the artists we have booked this year to hold off until every slot is filled. We wanted to share what we have planned, because we feel like this year will be one of our most successful yet.”
To date, this year’s Foothills Fall Festival performers include:
• Local cover band extraordinaire Hillbilly Jedi, opening the festival at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11;
• The Black Lillies, featuring former Blount County resident and Robinella and the CCstringband leader Cruz Contreras, takes the stage at 7 p.m. Friday;
• Country-rock quartet Kelsey’s Woods from Knoxville on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 12;
• Country artist Andy Gibson, best known for co-writing the Jason Aldean/Kelly Clarkson duet “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” also on Saturday;
• Kix Brooks, who performed as half of the country duo Brooks & Dunn and has gone on to a successful solo career, will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday as well as serve as master of ceremonies throughout the day;
• Lynyrd Skynyrd, the legendary Southern rock band behind such hits as “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Gimme Three Steps” and “Free Bird,” will close out the festival on Saturday night;
• Texas Tony and the Tornado Ramblers, a Knoxville-based country-rock band, will open the day on Sunday, Oct. 13;
• The Fairview Union, a popular local band that performs frequently at Maryville venues such as Two Doors Down and Nater’z, will follow;
• Tyler Farr, a country songwriter who launched his own solo career and has a hit song with “Redneck Crazy,” also performs on Sunday; and
• Rascal Flatts, one of the biggest country groups of the past decade with 12 No. 1 country hits, will close out the weekend.
help from partners
“We’re very fortunate to work with our media partner, WIVK-FM, to get an act as big as Rascal Flatts,” Groff said. “The last time they performed in East Tennessee, it was at Thompson-Boling Arena, so to have them at the Foothills Fall Festival is huge for our community. And because we have such a prestigious act on Sunday, we wanted to schedule something fun and exciting for Saturday as well.
“Lynyrd Skynyrd played at the festival in 2010, and that was one of our most popular years. People talked about how much fun it was, and they were on tour and available on that date, and we thought it would make a great pairing with the rest of the acts we have booked.”
Entertainment sponsors of the Foothills Fall Festival include the First Tennessee Foundation, Clayton Homes, DENSO, the Massey Group, The Daily Times, WIVK-FM, ALCOA Inc. and the City of Maryville. Tickets will go on sale July 20 only through Knoxville Tickets (http://www.knoxvilletickets.com) . Starting Monday, July 22, they will be on sale at area First Tennessee bank branches and at the Maryville Municipal Center. A three-day pass will cost $60 for a limited time, and children ages 6 and younger will be admitted free. Although that’s a change from previous years when kids ages 10 and younger were allowed free entry and a three-day pass was $50, Groff said the city’s philosophy on affordability is still the same.
“The city’s goal is to break even, and most people know that we bring the best entertainment at the lowest possible cost to our guests, thanks to our sponsors who underwrite much of the cost of holding the festival,” she said. “It’s such a great value, we anticipate our tickets will sell out quickly this year.”
(For the sake of comparison, ticket prices for a concert by Rascal Flatts and The Band Perry in Indianapolis on Saturday night ranged from $38-$80; a Saturday night performance by Lynyrd Skynyrd with opening act Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ would have cost $30-$45 for last night’s show in Greeley, Colo.)
“We feel like this year continues the tradition we’ve established over the years of offering quality entertainment by both established rock and country acts and up-and-coming performers,” Groff said. “We’re excited about how this year’s lineup will be received and can’t wait for October to get here.”
The rest of the lineup will be filled in before tickets go on sale July 20; additional details about reserved seating and the traditional free areas of the festival — the Art Way arts and crafts area and Children’s Adventure Land — will be released at that time as well.