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* 2007 Hoedown Preview*
PHOTO BY MIKE ISMAIR / AMERICAJR.com
AmericaJR.com's Jason Rzucidlo reports LIVE from Hart Plaza for the 25th Annual Downtown Hoedown. In just one week, hundreds of thousands of country music fans will fill this venue.
For those of you who have been to the Downtown Hoedown before, this year's festival will be very different. First, we are celebrating the 25th Birthday of the World's Largest FREE Country Concert. Secondly, there will be some location changes that we've never experienced before.
The Downtown Hoedown started back in 1983. It's first performers included Hank Williams Jr., Tanya Tucker, The Kendals, Brenda Lee and Mel Tillis. The official radio station at the time was WCXI-AM. Then, 106.7 W4 Country took over as the official Hoedown station for the next 15 years in a row. During that time, Waylon Jennings, Roseanne Cash, Garth Brooks, Toby Keith, Tracy Lawrence, Jo Dee Messina and The Dixie Chicks performed on the Hart Plaza stage.
99.5 WYCD took over as official radio sponsor in 2000. Over the last six years, we've seen Chris Cagle, Emerson Drive, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Gretchen Wilson, Cowboy Troy and Jack Ingram rise to country stardom. Those are just some of the highlights from past Hoedowns.
In 2007, The Downtown Hoedown will be bigger than ever! We keep saying that every year. This year, we are celebrating the 25th Anniversary of a festival that showcases new artists and leads them to country music greatness. (Click Here for the 2007 Schedule of Stars)
First, I believe it is important to note the start of the Hoedown. On Friday, the festival begins at 2:00 p.m. and ends at around midnight. On Saturday, the Hoedown begins at 11:00 a.m. and finishes at around midnight. The final day, Sunday, will open at 11:00 a.m. and conclude early at 10:30 p.m. The Hoedown has never opened at 11:00 a.m. throughout it's entire history. The festival will be longer in length than ever before!
Secondly, I want to clear the confusion about the music stages. There will be two music stages. However, the main stage will not be located on the second level of Hart Plaza. It will be located in the lower level of Hart Plaza on a raised platform where the local acts normally perform. There will be a new stage located along the Detroit riverfront. This stage will be located at the end of a walkway where line dancing lessons normally take place. Most of the newer artists and local artists will perform on the River Stage. Most of the established artists or headliners will be perform on the Main Stage within the lower bowl of Hart Plaza. (Click Here to view a map of Hart Plaza)
Third, I would like to mention that this year's Hoedown will include more performances than ever before. Remember the first Hoedown included just five performances. A year later, nine acts graced the Hart Plaza stage. Last year, 20 national acts performed at the Downtown Hoedown. In 2007, country music fans will be able to enjoy performances by 23 national acts and 13 local bands.
I have received numberous e-mails and phone calls about the Bud Light Roadhouse. Let me take a moment to clear up the confusion. The Roadhouse will be a special area within Hart Plaza on the right side of the stage area. It will be located on the main level. For those who went last year, it was on the left side of the stage. There will be no performances inside the Roadhouse area. It is simply a luxury for those who want to enjoy the Hoedown in style.
However, there are many benefits to purchasing a ticket to the Roadhouse. Fans who have a ticket to the Roadhouse will enjoy improved viewing area and preferred seating. Individuals will also get a full service bar, two FREE drink tickets, plasma screens for the Hoedown, a mechanical bull, a karaoke machine, nice bathrooms and much more. (Click Here to buy your tickets to the Bud Light Roadhouse)
While at the Hoedown, we would like to encourage you to stop by the "Gone Country" booth. There, you can register to win a copy of Emerson Drive's latest album Countrified. Two copies of their new album will be given away to those who sign up at the festival. AmericaJR.com has a special coupon for you to print off and bring with you to the festival. It entitiles you to a FREE Hat Pin when purchasing any hat from the booth. (Click Here to print the coupon)
We'd also encourage you to pick up a copy of The Magazine of Country Music. It's a great little magazine that will keep you occupied during your downtime at the Hoedown. It features articles on all the Hoedown artists, a schedule of country music concerts around the area and fun features like crossword puzzles and This Day in History.
AmericaJR.com has been bringing you coverage of the 2007 Downtown Hoedown since mid-February. This year, we are including a Video Preview. It will allow you to learn facts about the Hoedown that you might not already know. If you are thinking about attending, but not sure, this is the perfect video for you. Don't be scared about coming to the Hoedown. You will have lots of fun whether you enjoy country music or not. (Click Here to watch our Exclusive Video Preview)
AmericaJR.com has also added a new section called Hoedown Trivia. Think you know everything about the Hoedown? Do you remember every artist that has ever played on the Hart Plaza stage? Take this fun, quick and easy survey. (Click Here to test your knowledge with Hoedown Trivia)
AmericaJR.com is the exclusive Detroit media outlet for the CMA "New Artist Spotlight" column. It is a weekly syndicated column that is delivered to media outlets across the country. We've got articles on Hoedown artists Jason Michael Carroll, Chris Young and The Wreckers. (Click Here to read Hoedown News)
You have helped to make AmericaJR.com the #1 Website for Hoedown News and Information. We are ranked at the top on Google and Yahoo! plus many other search engines. We hope you will stay with us during the Hoedown for our LIVE updates. We'll be posting interviews and the BEST pictures around.
Join us for the 25th Annual Downtown Hoedown!! You'll be glad you did...
PHOTO BY MIKE ISMAIR / AMERICAJR.com
The main stage will be located right here where I am standing. It will be on a raised platform. This has traditionally been the location of the lower stage for new artists and local bands.
Return to the Downtown Hoedown section.
Detroit's Downtown Hoedown is known as the World's Largest Free Country Concert. The event is held each year at Hart Plaza along Detroit's Beautiful Riverfront bordering Windsor, Ontario. It is a three-day event featuring music, dancing and fun for all ages. The music portion is filled with local bands, newcomers and established artists.
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