Country music superstars Florida Georgia Line, Little Big Town and Toby Keith will headline Country Summer, Northern California’s biggest country music festival and Sonoma County’s biggest party, June 15-17 at Sonoma County Event Center at the Fairgrounds, 1350 Bennett Valley Road.
Celebrating its five-year anniversary in 2018, Country Summer has evolved into a colossal three-day destination country music event, featuring 20 performers on the Chevy Silverado Stage, plus popular local bands on a second stage between main acts.
Back in 2013, Alan Jacoby, executive producer of Impact Entertainment, and Lawrence Amaturo, owner of Amaturo Sonoma Media Group, owner of Froggy 92.9 and other radio stations serving the local area, teamed up to produce the Florida Georgia Line concert at the Sonoma County Fair.
It was the fair’s first-ever sold-out concert, which gave them an idea for a new country music spectacular. Their idea became the Country Summer Music Festival. Fast forward five years and it’s fitting that Country Summer pay homage to Florida Georgia Line, its multi-platinum inspiration.
Bursting with first-rate reviews of their explosive live shows, the iconic duo’s Dig Your Roots Tour played to more than one million fans. Their Smooth Tour 2017 sold-out stadium dates this summer with special guests Backstreet Boys.
Florida Georgia Line is distinguished as the first and only country act to achieve Recording Industry Association of America’s Diamond certification – more than 10 million copies sold – for their breakout smash “Cruise,” the best selling digital country single of all time.
Little Big Town has been on Country Summer’s headliner wish list since the inaugural event. The 2017 Academy of Country Music Awards Vocal Group of the Year and reigning People’s Choice Award winner for Favorite Country Group, is on an extraordinary winning streak that dates back to 2007 when the band won the ACM Award for Best New Duo or Group of the Year.
Hot on the heels of their wildly successful Tornado album, Little Big Town’s prescription for continued success and creative drive is in Pain Killer, their sixth album delivering such mega-hits as “Girl Crush,” a back-to-back Grammy Award winner for Best Country Song and Best Country Duo/Group Performance.
Toby Keith is undisputedly one of the modern era’s biggest country music stars. The Nashville Songwriters Association International named him Songwriter/Artist of the Decade. His songs have received more than 90 million performances on commercial radio stations worldwide. His albums have sold more than 40 million copies. His tours have drawn more than a million fans each year for more than a decade straight.
His latest song, “Wacky Tobaccy,” has quickly become a surprise runaway viral hit. Keith says, “It fits in with what we do every night with the party crowd.”
While country music artists are the main attraction, great festivals are more than great music. With shopping, experiential activities, a variety of culinary delights and an array of libations — from Anheuser-Busch beverages for beer drinkers, to spirits at the Jack Daniel’s Saloon — Country Summer has amassed a loyal fan base, locally and from across the country. In 2017, it attracted more than 30,000 fans from 34 states and four countries.
Last month’s widely-covered wildfires affected some neighborhoods and businesses in Santa Rosa; however, 90 percent of the town was untouched, according to Visit Santa Rosa. Restaurants, shops, area attractions, beer brewers and hundreds of Sonoma County wineries are now open.