Country music artists are some of the hardest working entertainers in the business. Stories of the road routinely surface in their songs and the road warrior mentality often runs through their busy summer schedules. This year is gearing up to be a great one for live country music as many of the genre's top acts are taking to the highways to deliver fans one great performance after another. In no particular order, here's GAC's list of the Top Country Music Tours of 2013!
Kenny hoists the pirate flag on a course of more than 50 dates, running through the end of August. Named the 2012 Billboard Touring 'Top Package' Award winner for last year's top grossing tour, the 2013 No Shoes Nation Tour (sponsored by GAC) once again establishes Kenny as one of the genre's ultimate road warriors. A long list of stadium dates highlights the voyage with stops in such celebrated venues as Dallas Cowboys Stadium (5/11), Pittsburgh's Heinz Field (6/22) and a two-night stand at Foxboro, Mass.'s Gillette Stadium (8/23-24). However, Kenny's also dropping in select club dates including The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas (4/19-20) that will provide fans with a more intimate experience. Joining Kenny on the expedition are some of the genre's most talented rising acts including Eric Church, the Zac Brown Band, Eli Young Band and Kacey Musgraves. Tickets range from approximately $37.50 - $229 (VIP Packages available). For more info, check out Kenny's tour page HERE.
The 2012 American Country Awards winner for Touring Artist of the Year is burning up the blacktop again in 2013. With a show promising to be even bigger than the multi-platinum singer's recent My Kinda Party tour, sold-out dates already include such iconic venues as Chicago's Wrigley Field (7/20), Boston's historic Fenway Park (7/12, 7/13) and a homecoming show for the Georgia native at the University of Georgia's Sanford Stadium (4/13). The massive 2013 Night Train Tour will feature more than 1,750 square feet of hi-res video screens and a set list packed with crowd favorites and new cuts like Jason's infectious single, "1994." Jake Owen and "1994" co-writer Thomas Rhett are joining Jason out on the road for the tour that currently has 25 shows on the books and more to come. Tickets range from approximately $26.75 - $65.00. For more info, check out Jason's tour site HERE.
Reigning CMA Female Vocalist of the Year Miranda Lambert and multi-platinum singer / songwriter Dierks Bentley join forces for a co-headlining run through the end of spring. The tour kicked off in late January to rave reviews and hits more than 20 cities as it swings through such venues as the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City, La. (4/11) and Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre in Denver (5/18). Including everything from barnburners to acoustic performances, the tour allows both Miranda and Dierks to showcase their talents for what's sure to be a memorable night for fans of both. Supporting acts include Lee Brice, Randy Houser and Joanna Smith. Tickets range from approximately $25 - $52.50. For more info, visit Miranda's tour page HERE and Dierks' tour page HERE.
Carrie extended her Blown Away Tour into 2013 with 40 more dates beginning in February. While the North American leg is scheduled to run through mid-May, an international trek in June will bring the tour's grand total to more than 100 shows. Numerous costume and set changes build on the larger-than-life concert experience created each night while the tour winds coast to coast with several stops in Canada. Domestic highlights include the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, Va. (3/21) and Cajundome in Lafayette, La. (4/29). Hunter Hayes is joining Carrie on the tour and check this out: $1 from every ticket sold will go to Red Cross disaster relief. Tickets range from approximately $40.50 - $80. Visit Carrie's tour page for more info HERE.
After selling out the first 21-shows of his Dirt Road Diaries Tour, Luke Bryan is kicking off the second round May 17 in Virginia Beach. GAC is proud to be the media sponsor of the tour's second leg, which includes 35 dates through the end of October. Luke is rolling cross-country on the tour, playing mostly amphitheatre dates on those warm summer nights. Stops include shows in Birmingham (7/11), Phoenix (7/27), Tulsa (9/14) and Nashville (10/18). Husband-and-wife duo Thompson Square will be hitting those dirt roads with Luke, along with breakout duo Florida Georgia Line. Tickets range from approximately $29.50 - $199 (VIP packages available). Make sure to check in with Luke's tour page for ticket sale info HERE.
You may have seen the hilarious family vacation-style video Keith dropped in November announcing his 2013 summer tour with Little Big Town and Dustin Lynch. Well, like many family vacations, planning started early and while the current American Idol judge has been busy preparing for his annual All for the Hall benefit concert in Nashville, he's also been getting the new tour with LBT and Dustin Lynch ready to kick off July 18. Keith's summer trek is scheduled for more than 25 cities through the first week of October with stops including the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Charlotte (7/25), Comcast Center in Mansfield, Mass. and the famed Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles (9/27). And if the launch video is any indication, expect a wildly entertaining evening where anything is possible! Tickets on sale soon. Make sure to check out Keith's tour page for more info HERE.
Taylor opened her 2013 RED Tour March 13 (which, by the way, is the superstar's lucky number) in Omaha to kick off an ambitious new run hitting 45 cities in 29 states and three provinces by the end of September. With just shy of 60 shows on the books, including nine stadium dates, the RED Tour promises to be a summer highlight, delivering what has become known as a must-see live performance. Set lists are made up of songs from all of Taylor's albums and early reports are that the multi-platinum singer will also take her turn on a variety of instruments. At Taylor's request, each date will include a ticketing price level starting below $50. British singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran, Taylor's duet partner on the song, "Everything Has Changed," from the album RED, will be out on the road with her to open up the show. Tickets range from approximately $29.50 - $387 (VIP Packages available). Check out Taylor's tour page for more info HERE.
After performing for over a million fans in 2012, Brad's hitting the road again this year exactly one month after his new album, Wheelhouse, hits stores. The Beat This Summer Tour, which launches May 9 in St. Louis, stretches from coast to coast as Brad visits 29 cities through the end of August. Making sure to stop in towns like Raleigh, Denver and Sacramento, Brad will also be pulling into several summer music festivals along the way. So if you're headed to Country Thunder in Twin Lakes, Wis. (7/20) or the Williamette Country Music Festival in Brownsville, Ore. (8/17), make sure you're ready for a good time when Brad settles into his headlining spot. Chris Young and Lee Brice are joining Brad out on the road this summer. Tickets range from approximately $19.25 - $145. For more info, check out Brad's tour page HERE.
Tim's newest album, Two Lanes of Freedom, is big on highway imagery and charging road songs. Starting May 2 in Birmingham, Ala., Tim's taking those songs – including the cruise-ready hits "Truck Yeah" and "One of Those Nights" - out on the road itself as he rolls into 30 cities through the end of July. The Two Lanes of Freedom 2013 Tour, which kicks off after Tim's Las Vegas Soul To Soul concert run with wife Faith Hill, makes stops that include Atlanta (5/12) and Beaumont, Texas (6/20) before wrapping in Virginia Beach (7/27). Want to know when tickets go on sale in your town? Tim has partnered with social media platform Tumblr for the "Fanticipation" program. For every city on the tour, Tim will personally call one fan in each market to give them – and only them - the on-sale date, leaving it up to that lucky fan to start spreading the word through Tumblr. Brantley Gilbert and Love and Theft will be riding shotgun with Tim this summer. Tickets range from approximately $26 - $70 (VIP Packages available). Visit Tim's tour page for more info HERE.
Taylor Swift (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)Current CMA Entertainer of the Year Blake Shelton is crankin' out one crazy night after another on his new 30-date tour beginning July 19 in Virginia Beach. The Ten Times Crazier Tour, which trucks on through early October, travels the Midwest and Eastern regions extensively as Blake hits arenas and amphitheaters. With a new album, Based on a True Story, dropping in late March, expect to hear several of the great new cuts including current single, "Sure Be Cool If You Did." Easton Corbin and Jana Kramer are along for the ride. Pre-sale information will be announced first to Blake's BS'er Fan Club with public sales starting in March. For more info, visit Blake's tour page HERE.
Toby Keith drops it in gear with his new Hammer Down Tour firing up June 8 in Ozark, Ark. Named Forbes' top earning country artist of 2012 in large part due to his road warrior spirit, Toby hits more than 20 cities as the tour rolls through early September. Stops include Chicago (6/30), Cheyenne, Wyo. (7/27 for Cheyenne Frontier Days) and Washington, DC (8/24). However, we're especially excited for Toby's performance at the world famous Buffalo Chip on August 6 as part of the Sturgis Rally in South Dakota. Because seriously, it doesn't get much better than Toby Keith hitting the stage for a night at arguably the largest motorcycle rally in the world. Kip Moore is joining Toby out on the road this summer. Tickets for many dates are available through the Live Nation 2013 Country Megaticket promotion. Check Toby's tour page for more show info as it comes available HERE.
In the fall of 2012, country music icon George Strait announced his final tour. While he's not retiring from music altogether, the King of Country did lay out his plans for the two-year The Cowboy Rides Away Tour, which will be his last full-scale outing. The 2013 leg includes 21 dates in winter and spring, giving fans an opportunity to see the 60-year-old's fantastic live show one last time. While the first run wraps June 1 in San Antonio, look for an announcement regarding additional dates. George's good friend Martina McBride is also taking up a saddle for the ride and tickets range from approximately $25 - $500 (VIP packages available). Visit George's tour page to learn more HERE.