Comerica Park Grounds
Downtown Detroit, MI 48201
Dates: June 8 to June 10, 2012
Price: $30 for 3-day passes, $20 for day passes
The first week of June, just a few weeks shy of the first day of summer, marks the return of Detroit’s 3-day annual country music festival, The Downtown Hoedown. Not only is the Hoedown one of Detroit’s most anticipated annual events, but it’s also considered the largest country music festival in the world and typically brings in crowds in the tens of thousands. This year’s event will mark the festival’s 30th anniversary, and it’s sure to be bigger than ever.
Many changes are in store for those planning on coming out to the Downtown Hoedown this year, including the location of the event itself. For the first time in the festival’s history, the annual three-day event will not be held in Hart Plaza, but instead down the street on the grounds of Comerica Park, allowing the festival to become a ticketed event. Although the changes will certainly cause some to forgo the trip downtown this year, organizers point to the fact that police have had to shut the Hart Plaza area down in the past to accommodate the growing crowds, and that the new venue will cut down on the congestion and sight line issues. Organizers also point out that the move will allow for easier access to the concession areas as well as cleaner restrooms and grounds. They are hoping that this will encourage more families to come out and bring back some of the hardcore country fans that stopped going when the crowds began to swell.
Speaking of country music lovers, they’ll be happy to know they can also expect to see more acts grace the stage than ever before, as an unprecedented 50 artists are slated to perform at the festival this year. The 2012 Hoedown will feature three stages with both local Detroit acts and big time national acts sharing the stage. Past performances have resulted in big breaks for now world-renowned bands and musicians, including Rascal Flatts and Big & Rich, and this year’s shows should follow suit. Here are just a few acts scheduled during the weekend, including some must-see performance highlights:
Friday, June 8, 2012
Hometown crooner Josh Gracin is headlining the Downtown Hoedown festival on Friday night. The charming Westland singer has played the Hoedown in the past, and his contemporary country songs always draw a diverse crowd. But his music won’t be the only thing drawing fans–Gracin’s handsome, half rugged, half boy-next-door good looks have always been quite popular with the female country fans.
Saturday, June 9, 2012
This country duo comprised of Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry (hence, the name), hails from Kentucky and has been performing together for nearly two decades. In that time the pair has managed to rack up more than two dozen country music award nominations and and Academy of Country Music Award.
Saturday, June 9, 2012
Another festival mainstay (and coincidentally, another favorite among the ladies) is Dierks Bentley, who returns to headline Saturday night. Bentley’s sixth album, Home, was just released in February and features the hit single “Am I the Only One.”
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Finally, one for the cowboys–Sunday night finds the beautiful and talented Miranda Lambert in the headliner spot. Lambert is out supporting her 2011 album, Four the Record, which debuted at number three on the Billboard charts.
Tickets are on sale now with three day passes going for $30 and single day tickets priced at $20. Those looking for a deal can stop in at their local Arby’s and pick up free tickets for Friday, June 8. A portion of the proceeds will go to Beaumont Hospital for the student heart screening program. Check out the rest of the 30th Annual Downtown Hoedown lineup, and have fun out there!
Full concert line up can be found here wycd.cbslocal.com.
Tracy Heck is a freelance writer living in Dearborn, Michigan. She covers Music & Entertainment. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.