Country music king George Strait will ride to the rescue at the 2018 Bayou Country Superfest.
Strait, among the most successful and respected artists in the history of the genre, is slated to headline the festival's single night in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday, May 27.
He'll be joined by Chris Stapleton, a bearded, hugely popular throwback to country's "outlaw" heyday, plus Little Big Town, Kacey Musgraves and Midland.
For its second year in the Superdome, the Bayou Country Superfest has scaled back from two nights to one. However, the Memorial Day weekend will also include a "Salute to America" fireworks display along the Mississippi River on Friday, May 25, and a free concert at Champions Square on Saturday, May 26, featuring Randy Houser, Michael Ray and Runaway June.
Tickets for the Superdome show go on sale Nov. 2 at 10 a.m. They range in price from $50 to $295, plus service charges.
The first seven editions of the Bayou Country Superfest played out at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge. For 2017, the festival was forced to move because of off-season renovations to Tiger Stadium.
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Attendance for the first BCS in New Orleans, which included two nights at the Dome featuring Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Thomas Rhett, Brooks & Dunn and Hank Williams Jr., plus a free show at Champions Square, totaled around 60,000.
That figure represented the third consecutive year of declining attendance for the festival, which is co-produced by Quint Davis' Festival Productions Inc.-New Orleans and AEG Live, in conjunction with the Messina Group.
Given the downward trajectory, there were questions about whether the Bayou Country Superfest would return in 2018. The availability of Strait apparently made the math much more favorable.
Strait drew one of the largest crowds in Bayou Country Superfest history when he headlined opening night at Tiger Stadium in 2014. That year, the festival added Friday to its traditional Saturday-Sunday schedule in order to accommodate a stop on Strait's "Cowboy Rides Away" farewell tour. Total attendance for the three-night 2014 BCS was 135,000, the most in the festival's history.
Since his "Cowboy Rides Away" tour — which Strait said would conclude his touring, but not necessarily his performing, career — he has mostly limited himself to a handful of concerts annually at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
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He has announced five arena concerts in Las Vegas, Oklahoma and Texas next year, but the Bayou Country Superfest date is reportedly Strait's only festival appearance in 2018.
He has a history with the Superdome. In 1999 and 2001, he brought his traveling country music festival to the Dome, drawing a big crowd each time.
BCS organizers undoubtedly hope he'll fill the vast venue once again in 2018.