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Kid Rock-headlining country music festival could pump $20M into Upstate’s economy

Jason Thomas //July 5, 2024//

Rock the Country on July 26 and 27 at the Anderson County Sports and Entertainment Center will feature headliners Kid Rock, Jason Aldean and Miranda Lambert with support from Brantley Gilbert, Travis Tritt, Big and Rich featuring Gretchen Wilson and more. (Photo/DepositPhotos)

Rock the Country on July 26 and 27 at the Anderson County Sports and Entertainment Center will feature headliners Kid Rock, Jason Aldean and Miranda Lambert with support from Brantley Gilbert, Travis Tritt, Big and Rich featuring Gretchen Wilson and more. (Photo/DepositPhotos)

Rock the Country on July 26 and 27 at the Anderson County Sports and Entertainment Center will feature headliners Kid Rock, Jason Aldean and Miranda Lambert with support from Brantley Gilbert, Travis Tritt, Big and Rich featuring Gretchen Wilson and more. (Photo/DepositPhotos)

Rock the Country on July 26 and 27 at the Anderson County Sports and Entertainment Center will feature headliners Kid Rock, Jason Aldean and Miranda Lambert with support from Brantley Gilbert, Travis Tritt, Big and Rich featuring Gretchen Wilson and more. (Photo/DepositPhotos)

Kid Rock-headlining country music festival could pump $20M into Upstate’s economy

Jason Thomas //July 5, 2024//

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More than 25,000 country music fans are expected to gather in Anderson County later this month for a festival that is the final stop on a tour of small towns across the South.

Rock the Country on July 26 and 27 at the Anderson County Sports and Entertainment Center will feature headliners Kid Rock, Jason Aldean and Miranda Lambert with support from Brantley Gilbert, Travis Tritt, Big and Rich featuring Gretchen Wilson and more, according to a news release from 46 Entertainment, which is producing the festival for all seven dates of the tour.

The locations were intentionally booked in small towns across the South, with Anderson being the final date of the tour. The gathering is projected to be the largest ticketed music festival in the Upstate since George Strait filled Clemson’s Memorial Stadium more than 25 years ago.

“An event of this size requires a lot of pre-planning. Organizers have been meeting with Anderson County and city of Anderson leaders since before the announcement last November,” said Rusty Burns, Anderson County administrator, in the release. “Anderson is thrilled to work with 46 Entertainment and looks to create a strong relationship for years to come.”

Choosing to host Rock the Country in small towns was important to the artists and to the promoters, the release stated. The tagline “7 massive shows in 7 small towns” was part of the announcement. Organizers want to bring country music to its roots and serve the fans who live and work in small towns who love music and America.

“We have engaged Clemson University Regional Economic Analysis Laboratory to assess the impact Rock the Country will have locally,” said Michael McBrayer, government relations director at 46 Entertainment, in the release. “We hope to bring this event back to Anderson County and we want it to be a catalyst for music-based tourism and pride for the residents of Anderson.”

The festival has had an estimated economic impact of over $20 million in other markets on the tour, according to festival organizers.

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Two-day general admission tickets start at $189.99.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to host the Rock the Country festival in Anderson County. Festivals such as this are an incredible way to welcome visitors from all over the country to our community,” said Neil Paul, executive director of Visit Anderson, said in the release. “The leadership of Anderson County has afforded us this tremendous opportunity to highlight our resources and facilities with this festival. Our records indicate that ticket holders are coming from 47 states and Canada, and sales have been particularly strong in the upstate of South Carolina. Our hotels are nearly sold out and we look forward to serving our guests while in Anderson County.”

More than 250 event security personnel will be traveling with the tour and detailed local support coordinated through Anderson County Emergency Management Services have been developed, according to the release. Road closures around the sports complex will create a pedestrian only perimeter and assist with traffic coordination.

“We have visited other locations to access their safety plans and have worked to develop plans that are unique to our setting,” said Joshua Hawkins, director of Emergency Management, in the release. “We feel confident with the tour’s attention to every aspect of emergency preparation.”

The summer heat is expected to be the biggest challenge for everyone, the release stated. Extra effort has been made to include misting stations, free water stations and medical support tents and equipment on location. Fire and medical teams will be present throughout the event and have gleaned information from the previous festival locations such as Ocala where temperatures soared during the festival. Area hospitals are included in the safety planning of the event in case extra assistance is needed.

“We produce large scale festivals all over the country, many times in places that do not have the robust resources that we have access to in Anderson County,” said Nathan Baugh, Founder 46 Entertainment, in the release. “We are impressed with the support and insight that Anderson County has provided and look forward to an amazing festival.”

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