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Detroit's Downtown Hoedown
Welcome to our coverage of
  AmericaJR.com Broadcasting Live

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::: THE WORLD'S LARGEST FREE COUNTRY CONCERT :::

* PREVIEW: Over 1 Million Country Fans Expected to Attend This Weekend's Downtown Hoedown *

HOEDOWN COVERAGE

PRESENTED BY:

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Downtown Detroit

1020 Washington Blvd.
Detroit, MI 48226 U.S.A.
(313) 887-7000

DISCLAIMER: This website and AmericaJR are not affiliated with, endorsed by,
or sponsored by the DOWNTOWN HOEDOWN or its owners WYCD-FM and CBS Radio Inc.

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Downtown Hoedown is scheduled for May 14 - 16, 2010 at Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit.

 
by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

DETROIT -- As the weather warms up in southeast Michigan, everyone knows that the Downtown Hoedown is just around the corner. The 28th Annual Downtown Hoedown will rock Detroit's Hart Plaza with almost 20 national acts and over 30 local bands on three stages and lots of fun for the entire family. Attendance figures are expected to exceed one million people during the course of the weekend from May 14 through 16. Stages will be set up in their original configuration with the upper stage, lower stage and the plaza stage along the riverfront. The Downtown Hoedown is known as the World's Largest FREE Country Concert.

Dierks Bentley, Uncle Kracker, Zac Brown Band, Randy Houser, Steel Magnolia and Darryl Worley are among the performers at this year's Hoedown. Additional performers include Justin Moore, Lee Brice, Jaron and the Long Road to Love, The McClymonts, Randy Montana, Jerrod Nieman, James Otto, The Avery Set, Steve Azar, Colt Ford, TelluRide, Billy Craig, Stephen Cochran, Blaine Larsen and David Nail.

Hoedown attendees will be able to help out the American Red Cross' relief efforts in the Music City after a flood has affected a large part of Nashville. Many of the country stars' homes are under water right now. The Grand Ole Opry building is knee high in water. The "Nickels for Nashville" campaign will take place at this year's Downtown Hoedown. Collection containers will be located throughout the festival and a large container will be on the stage, which will keep a running tally of the donations.

Steel Magnolia will open for Uncle Kracker at the Downtown Hoedown in Detroit on Saturday, May 15.

"Yes, we are and we cannot wait," Jones replied. "It's probably going to be the biggest show we've ever played. It's going to be huge. We're just trying to decide what we want to play. We were wondering if Kid Rock was going to make an appearance with Uncle Kracker. I think that will have some part in what songs we choose. We want to play tribute to Detroit because the city has so much great music that's influenced us in so many ways. Everything from Motown to Kid Rock to Bob Seger, White Stripes, all the great rock and roll music from there."

Can you give me a preview of your upcoming Hoedown performance?

"We're trying to pick something that will get the crowd fired up," Jones added. "I think we're probably going to get 30 minutes to go out there and rock as hard as we can. We know it's going to be a crowd that's ready for some good entertainment. We're just going to put on the best high energy show that we possibly can and take the fans for a journey."

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.

Many of the stars at this year's Hoedown are returning for a second or third time. Darryl Worley will perform for the fourth time at the Hoedown this year (he also performed there in 2001, 2007 and 2009). The Zac Brown Band performed at last year's Hoedown and now they are headlining on Sunday night. Justin Moore and Stephen Cochran returns to the Hoedown after a performance at the festival last year. Lee Brice returns to the Hoedown after a performance here in 2008. Blaine Larsen returns after a performance in 2005.

"I was 10 years old, back in 1989, Garth Brooks came to Detroit and played the hoedown," Stephen Cochran explained. "It was probably the reason I'm in this business. It was the first time I ever seen a rock concert put on country music. It's exactly what I want to do. I will even credit Detroit and the hoedown with the first time that I've seen country music at the way that I do it today. My grandfather worked for GM for 30 years. I spent every summer from the time I was four to 18 in Detroit in Waterford. The oldest friends that I have are right there in Waterford. It's home for me. To get to come home and stand on the stage where I watched the man give me the dream, I don't even know how to put that into words. It's not the hoedown, it's the Stephen Cochran Hoedown."

What do you have planned for your upcoming performance at the Downtown Hoedown this year?

"That's a surprise," Cochran said. "We're definitely going to involve the fans a little bit more. Last year, we were on the upper stage. I noticed you're very disconnected from the crowd. You're a good 50 yards from actually being with the crowd. We asked if there was anyway we could go on the lower stage to get right in the crowd and that way bring what we do more to Detroit. All I can I say is there is going to be a lot of crowd participation."

We've been getting a lot of e-mails about Josh Gracin. The Westland, Mich. native played the Hoedown for the last four years, beginning in 2006. This year, Gracin will be performing in St. Clair Shores at a concert called "A Taste of Home." Click here for more information on that event.

In addition, we've been asked about Jason Michael Carroll. The country singer who's best known for the song "Alyssa Lies" played at the Hoedown for the last three years. Carroll is skipping out on the Downtown Hoedown this year. However, he will be performing at the 98 FM KCQ Country Music Fest on June 19 in downtown Saginaw. Click here for more information on that event.

Furthermore, we've been asked about Kid Rock. The Detroit rocker has randomly showed up at the Hoedown over the past few years. There has been no official announcement on whether or not he would appear this year. However, he does have a song with Uncle Kracker called "Heaven." If you want to see Kid Rock, show up during Uncle Kracker's performance on Saturday at 10:20 p.m. and you might get lucky.

Country star Blaine Larsen will now perform at the Hoedown on Sunday at 4:00 p.m. on the River Stage. He replaces local artist Kyle Jennings, who was originally scheduled to perform at that time slot and canceled for unknown reasons.

Steve Azar returns to the Downtown Hoedown this year after a performance at the festival back in 1996.

"I remember we did it with the Kentucky Headhunters," he responded. "I remember it being a very aggressive show. I remember it being pretty warm. I remember as an entertainer, I felt the need to go hard. I'm looking forward to playing it. Every crowd is different, depending on the time of the day, how long they've been out there, what mood they're in. There's an overall feeling you get when you get on stage and look out there. I go with the crowd. The radio station there and I are good friends. They've been supportive of me even in crazy times. The last four nights we had there were at the Palace with Bob. I'm looking forward to getting outside and hopefully moving the crowd and also us as a band having a great time."

The country singer says he has lots of surprises in store for his Hoedown performance.

"My band cracks up and my tour manager says, 'hey, we got to do the set list,'" Azar said. "There's some stock stuff that I do no matter what. You just never know with me. When I get on stage, I may change up four or five things. It depends on my mood. It's hard to be able to predict. It's almost like going into a football game with a game plan at halftime. You have to make adjustments. It's very enjoyable for me, but I'm usually unpredictable. I guess we're all going to have to wait and see if we can all have a good time together. That's my goal."

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. For the last three years, the main entrance to the Hoedown has been closed on Saturday night just before the main headliner because it gets too full.

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 Coach Insignia or Andiamo, all located in the Renaissance Center.

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 11:00 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. [PDF])

Ashley Allyson is scheduled to kick off this year's 2010 Downtown Hoedown at Hart Plaza on Friday, May 14 at 2:00 p.m. on the lower stage.

"It's such a huge honor, I was so happy to find out that l was going to be able to do that," Allyson replied. "It's my hometown and there's so many great artists performing this year. There's Dierks Bentley and Justin Moore, who I had the honor to meeting a few months ago at CRS and Zac Brown, who I'm really excited to see again. I also had the honor of meeting him at the 2008 CMA Awards. I'm definitely excited to see them. There's so many wonderful local and national artists that are going to be there. I'm so happy to be a part of it to bring this show to all the die-hard fans that will stand out in the rain to watch the show."

Can you give me a preview of your upcoming performance at the Hoedown?

"It's going to be pretty exciting, we actually have a couple of surprises in store for the show production wise," she said. "It's going to go through most of my songs including the new one that I recently wrote it's called 'Catch 22.' I'm very excited about that. It's going to be so much fun. All I want everybody to know is they're going to be on their feet singing, dancing and having a good time."

AmericaJR.com's Coverage of the Downtown Hoedown is presented by The Holiday Inn Express & 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. (Click here to book a room at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites.)

While at the Hoedown, we would like to encourage you to stop by one of the two "Gone Country" booths. Look for the booth with the cowboy hats, belt buckles, hat pins, boots and spurs. There, you can register to win a copy of Hoedown artist Randy Houser's new album, Anything Goes. 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 28th 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 and backpacks are subject to search.

 

PHOTO ©AMERICAJR.com

AmericaJR.com's Jason Rzucidlo reports from Hart Plaza for the Downtown Hoedown.

 

PHOTO ©AMERICAJR.com

AmericaJR.com's Brooke Pashley reports from Hart Plaza for the Downtown Hoedown.

 

DISCLAIMER: This website and AmericaJR are not affiliated with, endorsed by,
or sponsored by the DOWNTOWN HOEDOWN or its owners WYCD-FM and CBS Radio Inc.

 

 

* Win a Free AmericaJR T-Shirt and Wear it to the Hoedown *

 

 

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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