Brooks & Dunn, Big & Rich to headline 16th annual festival
By Ryan Gueningsman
In these economic times, two can sometimes be better than one.
For its 16th year, the Winstock Country Music Festival in Winsted is proud to bring not only one, but two of the top duos in country music to the stage for what just may be the biggest show yet.
They have sold more than 30 million albums, had 23 number one hits, and are four-time entertainers of the year. Brooks & Dunn has received the CMA and ACM Duo of the Year 14 times each, and are the most awarded artist in CMA and ACM history.
Brooks and Dunn, simply put, are country music and they’re following their “Red Dirt Road” straight to Winstock 2009. The most powerful duo in country music will be closing out the show Saturday, June 13, marking their first-ever Winstock appearance.
Winstock is excited also to welcome Big & Rich with Cowboy Troy to make Winstock goers part of their “Freak Parade” Friday night, June 12.
With a limited touring schedule in 2009, Winstock is excited to have Big & Rich with Cowboy Troy coming to our city with all of their hits, including “Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy),” “Comin’ to Your City,” and the most recent, “Lost In The Moment.”
“It’s an honor to have the top two male duos in country music coming to Winstock this year,” said Winstock Festival Committee Chairman Dave Danielson. “It’s definitely going to be the biggest show we’ve ever had as far as entertainers.”
A number of new faces will appear at Winstock ‘09
Also on the bill for this year’s festival is LeAnn Rimes, who has made the rare transition from child prodigy to seasoned artist.
Few in popular music can rival her in terms of critical acclaim or commercial success.
She has sold more than 37 million records, won two Grammys, and has received numerous industry awards. What’s most impressive, though, is that she has accomplished all this by her early 20s. Clearly, she is just warming up.
Joining Brooks & Dunn, Big & Rich with Cowboy Troy, and LeAnn Rimes will be Billy Currington, Bucky Covington, Neal McCoy, and Heidi Newfield.
From small-town Son of the South, to hot new artist, to bona fide country star, Billy Currington has seen it all.
In 2003, he burst onto the Nashville scene with his self-titled debut album, and proceeded to burn up the charts with top 10 singles “I Got a Feelin,’” and “Walk a Little Straighter.”
His most recent hit, “Don’t” a soulful, relatable song about falling in love and cherishing every moment together is speaking to hearts across the nation and at number eight on the charts.
No doubt about it, in the 20 years since he released his first single, Neal McCoy the one-of-a-kind country singer and consummate live performer has enjoyed every minute of his long, successful career.
Even with 11 albums, over 25 charted singles, and countless thousands of touring miles already under his big belt buckle, the Texas-based artist has no intention of slowing down.
A few more miles will be added to that in ‘09 as the Winstock fan-favorite returns to the stage for a show not to be missed.
American Idol and country music have seemingly gone hand-in-hand for several years now, and Bucky Covington is proof of that. This year, the Idol favorite will soon become a Winstock favorite, bringing his hits like “Different World,” “It’s Good to be Us,” and his most recent, “I’ll Walk,” to the Winstock stage.
A second dose of American Idol can be found Friday on the Winstock Emerging Artists Stage, which will feature finalist Kristy Lee Cook, who is climbing the charts with her hit “15 Minutes of Shame.”
Who can forget Heidi Newfield? The former blonde bombshell lead singer of Trick Pony has gone on her own and has been turning heads the entire time.
Her debut single as a solo artist, “Johnny and June” has taken the country music world by storm, and Winstock is pleased to welcome back Heidi Newfield as she continues her journey on a solo career.
“She was with us back in 2003, with Trick Pony,” Danielson said. “Now, she’s out on her own.”
Watch www.winstockfestival.com for more emerging artists and the rest of the line-up to be announced soon.
Other notes for Winstock
• The early-bird ticket deadline is even earlier this year, and will be March 1, 2009. For 2009 general admission tickets through March 1, the cost is $85.
“We’re definitely trying to get people to buy tickets way ahead of time this year,” Danielson said, noting with a laugh that Winstock is tired of competing with Uncle Sam for money. The earlybird deadline in years past has been April 15.
The cost is $100 from March 2 through April 19; the cost is $115 from April 20 through May 31; and the cost is $125 from June 1 through the event.
Danielson said there were some issues at last year’s festival in the general admission area with people standing in front of other festival goers who had waited a long time to get a good location in the general admission area.
“Some people weren’t cooperative, so we’re going to beef up security in general admission,” Danielson said. “People wait in line for hours before the gates open, and then people came and stood in front of them and wouldn’t move this year, they will be moved.”
The earlybird price for VIP tickets for 2009 cost $250, and includes a reserved seat, reserved parking, food and beverages, and one hot meal each day. From June 1 through the event, VIP tickets will cost $275.
For reserved seating, located immediately behind the VIP area, tickets cost $150 through May 31, and $175 from June 1 through the event. This includes a guaranteed numbered seat with premium view of the music area.
“I’m sure our reserved seating will continue to grow,” Danielson said of the new area to watch the show that was created several years back. “The reserved seating is getting more popular every year.”
Camping passes for Winstock 2009 are $85, and extra vehicle passes cost $20.
Danielson said it is a goal of Winstock to keep ticket prices as affordable as possible.
“Even with the additional dollars spent on entertainers this year, we want to keep ticket prices as affordable as possible,” he said, noting Winstock has the most reasonable ticket prices of any of the major festivals in the area.
“Despite the economy being what it is, we hope the loyal fan base stays strong,” Danielson said.
• Campground E will be available in 2009, and will be located south of Ram Buildings on McLeod County Road 1. Danielson said campers will only be able to cross McLeod County Road 1 at the controlled intersection.
• Danielson noted after Winstock 2008, the festival committee has had a number of meetings regarding its severe weather plan, and continues to improve it.
“Last year was a good practice run,” he said of the storm that passed through Saturday night, noting there was minimal damage.
• You heard it first: Last year’s Winstock headliner, Montgomery Gentry presently has the number one country song in the nation with the hit “Roll With Me.”
• The Rolling Stones coming to Winsted? Well, sort of. A concert will take place Thursday, Feb. 19 at the Blue Note in Winsted featuring the band Satisfaction, internationally acclaimed as the most authentic cast and production show available honoring the world’s greatest rock and roll band.
Visit www.bluenoteofwinsted.com or www.rollingstoneshow.com for more details on this event.
• Don’t forget to network with other Winstock and country music fans by becoming a part of the official Winstock Forum and joining the official Winstock Facebook Group.
Visit www.winstockfestival.com for more details and links.