Country Music Festival is Officially Coming to Delmarva - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Country Music Festival is Officially Coming to Delmarva

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HARRINGTON, Del. (WBOC) - It's official. A major country music festival will be held on Delmarva next summer.

Tuesday WBOC broke the news about the festival, and Thursday in Harrington the Delaware State Fair, concert promoter Live Nation and businessman Alex Pires made the official announcement.

A three-day festival is scheduled to happen at the fairgrounds Aug. 14-16.

Brian O'Connell, Live Nation's country touring president, says this will be a high-quality event he expects to be around for a long time with a very large reach.

"We're not going to limit our efforts to just the Delmarva area or just the eastern seaboard. This will go out on a national basis and a global basis for that matter."

But he wouldn't speculate on how many people might attend in year one nor say what artists will perform.

"We're going to have major country stars," O'Connell said. "We're going to have brand new country stars. And we're going to have people in the middle."

The M&T Bank Grandstand is the home of big music at the Delaware State Fair usually. But the festival isn't going to be using it. Instead it will use a large open space in the back corner of the fairground property.

"The look of the new festival will be completely different," said O'Connell.

"I can understand why they're trying to think outside the box and create a new experience and not be pigeon holed into a certain format, because the infrastructure is designed like that," Danny Aguilar, director of marketing for the state fair.

Aguilar says even so it's going to be a quick turnaround for the property. The fair ends Aug. 1. The festival starts Aug. 14. He says the team involved can handle it.

He also says the property will be able to handle the tens of thousands of people who will likely show up. And when it comes to traffic, Aguilar says they've learned from the headaches at the Firefly Music Festival and the state fair's own experiences.

Live Nation has not yet priced the event. But O'Connell says he wants it to be affordable to families to attend the festival.

Businessman Alex Pires played a large role in bringing this event to Delmarva and he says he is excited to get the ball rolling.

"It feels great. I'm really happy," Pires said. "I'm glad all of the pressure is off. I'm glad everyone is here and happy."

Pires amongst other participants of the festival, including Brian O'Connell the president of Country Touring for Live Nation, made the official announcement at a press conference Thursday.

"What we're hoping for is a big response," Pires said. "We've gotten a lot of people already asking when they can buy tickets and they don't even know who the stars are. I think that's pretty impressive."

Pires originally planned to have the festival in Sussex County. However, he's not disappointed about the change of location.

"I'm a positive person and my feeling about it is some things were meant to be," Pires said. "I think it was meant to be here."

Bringing the festival to Harrington may not have been his first choice, but he says it was the first choice of Live Nation.

"When we first looked at the sites in Delaware and even in Maryland, Live Nation liked this place from the start," Pires explained. "I think it's interesting. This was actually their first choice."

It's now the official spot for the state's first country music festival.

WBOC reporter Shannel Douglas contributed to this story.


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