Bayou Country Superfest is officially returning to LSU’s Tiger Stadium for the third year in a row, concert producer-organizer Quint Davis said Tuesday.
Just as it has for the past two years, the two-day concert will be held over Memorial Day weekend, which is set for May 26 and 27.
The 2012 performers for Superfest are expected to be announced in October, and tickets will go on sale in November, Davis said. Past tickets have ranged from $50 to $250.
Davis said Baton Rouge has proven to be an unexpectedly strong market for the music festival.
“It’s amazing that we’ve only done it twice,” Davis said. “In its first year we had people from 47 states come.”
He said the combination of Tiger Stadium as a concert venue and the tailgating culture of LSU that has lent itself to the festivities has created a unique and successful formula for the acclaimed music fest.
In two years, Superfest has already drawn some of the biggest names in country music, such as Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift and the Zac Brown Band in addition to attracting upward of 75,000 fans from across the country.
Paul Arrigo, president of the Baton Rouge Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, said securing Superfest for 2012 “could be the beginning of what could become a long-term relationship.”
“This will be as important to Baton Rouge as Jazz Fest is to New Orleans,” he said.
Davis said he is “absolutely” interested in working with local officials to develop a plan to keep Superfest in Baton Rouge long term.
Earlier this month, local officials agreed to pay Davis a total of $600,000 to keep the concert in Baton Rouge.
The state Office of Tourism, the Baton Rouge Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and a recovery grant from British Petroleum allocated to the parish are each providing $200,000.
In its first year, Superfest organizers asked for $900,000 in state and local funds to subsidize the festival.
The same funding was expected for the 2011 concert, but in December the Metro Council voted to defund its $300,000 portion, mostly because taxpayer funds had no accountability tied to their use.
Davis said he was pleased that the concert has grown successful enough that he could require one-third less local funds than necessary its first year.
He suggested that Superfest may continue to ask for a financial commitment to sustain the concert in years to come, adding that corporate sponsorships may eventually take over part of that burden.
“The formula of what you need to put on a concert doesn’t change, but how you get there and through what funding sources is what we’ll look into,” he said.
He added that Baton Rouge is benefiting financially from the festival.
“If the festival generates $10 million for the city of Baton Rouge, then that’s a pretty good return on your investment,” he said.