There’s old country music and there’s new country music, and Republic Live wants to meet fans in the middle.
The company behind the Boots and Hearts Music Festival has announced the Big Sky Music Festival will take place July 20 at Burl’s Creek Event Grounds in Oro-Medonte Township, north of Barrie.
It will feature some of the biggest names in 1980s and 1990s country.
Alabama, Diamond Rio and Travis Tritt have been confirmed. While they are still enjoying success today, they were at peak popularity in the 1990s.
The idea to host a different kind of country music festival came about following the success of 2018 Boots and Hearts headliner Alan Jackson, who also enjoyed massive success in the ’90s.
“We had quite a few new people to Boots and Hearts last year because of Alan Jackson,” Lisa Zechmeister, director of booking and development, said of the festival that typically caters to a younger crowd of country fans.
More artist announcements will be made in the lead-up to the festival, but organizers wanted a few well-known acts to anchor the event.
“Alabama does great business in Canada. They were an obvious choice for us,” Zechmeister said. “They’re kind of the quintessential traditional genre. When they started out, they were just rebel enough for the younger people … and the parents really liked the harmonies.”
She described the three acts announced so far as “timeless.”
“All of these guys have a ton of radio hits, lots of appeal.”
In typical Burl’s Creek fashion, there will be more than music at the Big Sky Music Festival. An arts and crafts market will be set up and there will be a classic car show featuring 80 to 100 vehicles.
While the live music will only happen July 20, attendees are invited to camp on site Jan. 19 or 20, or both nights. There will be a pig roast for campers.
The gates will open at about 10 a.m. July 20. Musicians will perform from about 2 to 11 p.m.
Tickets will go on sale Feb. 1 at 10 a.m. For ticket information, including prices, click here.
“We’d be very happy with 12,000 to 15,000 people. That is our target,” Zechmeister said.
The goal is to turn the Big Sky Music Festival into an annual affair.
“We hope it will grow to the size of Boots and Hearts,” Zechmeister said of the festival that attracted about 40,000 people last year.
Anyone seeking more information is encouraged to reach out to festival officials at bigskymusicfestival.ca, on Instagram @bigskyfestival, Twitter @bigskyfestival or Facebook @bigskyfestival.