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* Over 1 Million Country Fans Expected to Attend This Weekend's Downtown Hoedown in Detroit *
PHOTO BY JENNIFER VUONG / ©AMERICAJR.com
AmericaJR.com's Jason Rzucidlo reports LIVE from Hart Plaza for the Downtown Hoedown.
DETROIT -- The 27th Annual Downtown Hoedown will rock Detroit's Hart Plaza with 22 national acts, 33 local bands, three stages and lots of fun for the entire family. Attendance figures are expected to exceed 1 million people during the course of the weekend from May 15 - 17. Stages will be set up to their original configuration with the third stage along the riverfront renamed as the "plaza stage". The Downtown Hoedown is considered the World's Largest FREE Country Concert.
Willie Nelson, Phil Vassar, Josh Gracin and Rodney Atkins are among the performers at this year's Hoedown. Additional performers include the Zac Brown Band, Jason Michael Carroll, Bomshel, Jessica Andrews, Trailer Choir, Whitney Duncan, Justin Moore, Miko Marks, Ansel Brown, Kevin Costner & Modern West, Luke Bryan, Jack Ingram, Jessica Harp and Stephen Cochran.
This year's Hoedown is being produced by Palace Sports & Entertainment. The last three Hoedowns were produced by WMG Entertainment, a California-based events producer. The Hoedown was produced by Plymouth-based Watts Up Inc. from its inception through 2005.
Many of the stars at this year's Hoedown are returning for a second or third time. Josh Gracin is performing at the festival for the fourth year in a row. Rodney Atkins is also returning for his fourth Hoedown, but not in a row. Jason Michael Carroll returns for the third year in a row. This will be the second downtown Hoedown for Jessica Andrews, Luke Bryan, Jack Ingram and Bomshel.
Bomshel will perform at the Hoedown on Saturday afternoon. “One of the best I’ve ever played,” said Bomshel violinist Kristy Osmonson of the free country festival. “Michigan is my absolute favorite place to play. Our band is banging right now. We got a big ole surprise for you all.”
“It was actually my first live show that I’ve ever played,” said Bomshel vocalist Kelley Shepard. “It was really funny cause Bomshel was there the day before I was. I’m excited to be back with Kristy. I think it’s gonna make it 10 times better. We’re excited!”
Stephen Cochran is performing at the Hoedown for the very first time. "Another dream come true," he answered. "I mean, everybody out there has to realize, I grew up in Waterford. I grew up going to this show. The neighborhood would get together and we would all go to Hoedown. For me to not look at the stage but to look at the fans, it kind of tells me I made it a little bit. It's something that I've always wanted to be a part of. And I'm so blessed and honored that WYCD asked me to be a part of it this year."
The main stage will be located on the upper bowl of Hart Plaza and will feature mostly established national artists. The lower stage will be located in the lower bowl of Hart Plaza and will feature music from Nashville's new artists. A third stage will be located along the riverfront and is being called the Plaza Stage. It will feature acoustic music and local bands.
All seating at the Hoedown is FREE as it was meant to be. Get there early to get the best seats. Hart Plaza can fill up in a matter of just a few hours and if you get up, someone could take your spot. It is best to go with someone who can watch your seat if you decide to use the restroom or grab something to eat. In 2007, Hart Plaza had to close its doors for the first time because the place was so packed just before Josh Gracin performed.
Think you'll get hungry at the Hoedown? There will be steaks, ribs, pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs chicken, shish kabob, sandwiches, appetizers and desserts available for purchase. Another option is the restaurants in the basement of the Renaissance Center. There you'll find Arby's, Burger King, McDonald's, Coney Town, Fish City, Gyroland, Mr. Pita, Potbelly, Subway, Venice Italian Market, Zoup! and Starbucks. If you are looking for fine dining, try Seldom Blues, Coach Insignia or Andiamo, all located in the Renaissance Center.
Country fans had to wait another week for this year's Hoedown to come around. Last year, it was held a week early due the ACM Awards broadcast, which was held on the third weekend of the May, when the Hoedown is normally held. Come downtown for the Hoedown from May 15 - 17 this year.
Hours of the Downtown Hoedown are 2:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. for Friday, 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. for Saturday and 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Sunday. Local bands perform first each day. Nashville newcomers perform during the mid afternoon. Established national acts perform in the evening. (Click here to check the complete Schedule of Stars for the Hoedown. Click here to download and print a copy of the schedule that you can bring with you the festival.)
AmericaJR.com's Coverage of the Downtown Hoedown is presented by The Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites in Downtown Detroit. It is located less than half of a mile from the festival. The hotel features complimentary high-speed internet, a hot breakfast, an indoor pool and a fitness center. If you are still looking for a room, this is a great place to stay.
While at the Hoedown, we would like to encourage you to stop by one of the two "Gone Country" booths. They offer cowboy hats, belt buckles, hat pins, boots and spurs. There, you can register to win a copy of Hoedown artist Lee Ann Womack's new album, Call Me Crazy. In addition, we have a special coupon for fans to print out and bring with them to the festival. It entitles all festival goers to $3 Off any Hat Purchase at the Hoedown. (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. Look for the AmericaJR.com advertisement. Our very own Hoedown Trivia will be featured in the magazine that you can get at the festival. (Click here to test your knowledge with Hoedown Trivia.)
Country music fans are encouraged to share their memories, experiences and thoughts about the festival in our new Hoedown Guestbook. Who was your favorite star that performed at the Hoedown? Who do you want to see at upcoming Hoedowns? (Click here to visit our all-new Hoedown Guestbook.)
Check out our full-color map of Hart Plaza. AmericaJR.com visitors will see the location of entrances and exits, music stages, retail vendors, food vendors and restroom facilities. We've also listed the names of retail vendors and some food vendors and their locations are noted on the map. (Click here to see our all-new map of Hart Plaza for the Hoedown.)
Will it be your first time at the Hoedown? Watch our exclusive Hoedown Video Preview and get acquainted with everything that you need to know before you go. We'll show you where the stages are located, where food vendors will be, what you should bring with you and give you the entire music schedule. (Click here to watch our Hoedown Video Preview.)
Want to learn more about the Hoedown artists? We've included a whole slew of information on the musicians that will be at the Hoedown this year in our Artist Profiles. You'll see the birth dates, birthplaces, latest albums, hit singles, group members and performance times for all the stars that are coming. (Click here to read our Hoedown Artist Profiles.)
The Downtown Hoedown started in 1983 as a one-day event with Hank Williams Jr., Tanya Tucker, The Kendals, Brenda Lee and Mel Tillis as its performers. It has evolved into a three-day music festival featuring local bands, Nashville newcomers and established artists. The Hoedown is the stage where new artists get noticed and become famous. Gretchen Wilson performed her first concert at the Hoedown in 2004 when no one knew who she was. Garth Brooks, George Jones, Toby Keith, The Dixie Chicks and Waylon Jennings have all played the Hoedown in past years.
AmericaJR.com is not an official sponsor of the Hoedown. However, we are here to offer you the BEST possible coverage of the World's Largest FREE Country Music Concert. We'll be at Hart Plaza all weekend long!
Join us for the 27th Annual Downtown Hoedown!! You'll be glad you did...
NOTE: No coolers, no alcoholic beverages, no bikes, skateboards, weapons or pets allowed. All purses, bags, backpacks, etc…subject to search.
PHOTO BY JENNIFER VUONG / ©AMERICAJR.com
AmericaJR.com's Jason Rzucidlo stands in the lower bowl of Hart Plaza where the lower stage will be located.
PHOTO BY JENNIFER VUONG / ©AMERICAJR.com
AmericaJR.com's Jason Rzucidlo reports from the main entrance to Hart Plaza where country music fans will enter the festival. Retail vendors and food will be located on both sides of the main walkway.
PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com
AmericaJR.com's Brooke Pashley reports from Hart Plaza, which is located directly across the Detroit riverfront bordering Windsor, Ontario.
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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