Daytona Int’l Speedway Plans For Memorial Day Music Festival

Daytona Int'l Speedway on Thursday announced that it "will host the inaugural Country 500 music festival" next Memorial Day weekend, meaning the renovated track's status as a year-round entertainment complex "has begun," according to a front-page piece by Suzanne Hirt of the Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL.

The festival, which will feature Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Kid Rock, Lady Antebellum and Willie Nelson, among others, will be the "first nonracing event to fully utilize" the track's $400M makeover. DIS President Joie Chitwood III said that the planned annual festival "will give the Speedway the opportunity to 'own (Memorial Day) weekend in the community,' and thinks it will become 'the biggest festival on the East Coast.'"

Hirt notes the ISC-owned track "can accommodate 100,000 spectators in the grandstands alone, and the festival also will allow camping in the track's infield, where the concerts will take place on three huge stages custom built for the event." The festival "came about as a result of DIS's partnership with sports and entertainment presenter AEG." Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL

ROLLING STONE's Stephen Betts noted a different country and rock festival that was at a racetrack — the NiFi Festival — and was originally slated for this past August at the SMI-owned Kentucky Speedway "was abruptly canceled in July due to low ticket sales." ROLLINGSTONE.com

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