Brandy­wine coun­try

Tens of thou­sands ex­pected to see coun­try mu­sic stars per­form

The Community Connection - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Brian Binga­man bbinga­man@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @bri­an­binga­man on Twit­ter

It’s a brave new world for the Lud­wig’s Cor­ner Horse Show grounds, which has the ca­pac­ity for a crowd of 15,000.

From Aug. 24 to 26, coun­try mu­sic fans will be gath­er­ing for Citadel Coun­try Spirit USA, a new week­end-long fes­ti­val of es­tab­lished hit-mak­ers, like Alabama, Toby Keith, Brad Pais­ley and Trace Ad­kins, and singers whose songs you’ve prob­a­bly heard, like Jake Owen, Dustin Lynch and “The Voice” alum Cas­sadee Pope.

In all, there will more than 20 coun­try mu­sic artists fea­tured on two stages. The re­gional tal­ent win­ners of the Citadel Ris­ing Star Con­test — Derek Crider; Brian McCon­nell, of West Ch­ester; and Stephanie Grace, of Dou­glassville — will per­form on the Citadel Ris­ing Star Stage be­tween main stage acts.

Citadel Coun­try Spirit USA comes to Ch­ester County from Im­pact En­ter­tain­ment, the pro­ducer of Coun­try Sum­mer, a fes­ti­val that’s been held each of the last five years in Santa Rosa, Calif., a sub­urb of San Fran­cisco. Draw­ing from that suc­cess­ful for­mula, the fes­ti­val ex­pe­ri­ence will in­clude an ar­ray of ac­tiv­i­ties, 17 dif­fer­ent food ven­dors and libations cu­rated by Spec­trum Cater­ing and Events (whose clients in­clude Cirque du Soleil and the Pro­fes­sional Golfers As­so­ci­a­tion), rang­ing from craft brews by Sierra Ne­vada to wines at the Bare­foot Wine Gar­den and spir­its at the Jose Cuervo Sa­loon.

Alan Jacoby, the ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer of Im­pact En­ter­tain­ment, said it was the Ch­ester County Con­fer­ence and Visi­tors Bureau that reached out to him in late 2015 about host­ing what he called a “week­end­long mu­sic, food, bev­er­age and shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence,” and that they even came up with a list of 60 dif­fer­ent pos­si­ble sites.

“The spon­sors will have ac­tiv­i­ties at their booths, and we’re bring­ing in a me­chan­i­cal bull,” Jacoby said. “The site’s gonna look nice ... a nice coun­try fes­ti­val site. We’re look­ing for­ward to a great Amer­i­can mu­si­cal ex­trav­a­ganza.”

Lud­wig’s Cor­ner is lo­cated off Route 100, about 20 min­utes south of Pottstown.

A por­tion of ticket sales will be do­nated to Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal of Philadelphia.

Main stage at a glance

Aug. 24: 3:45 p.m. Cas­sadee Pope, 5:30 p.m. Brett Young, 7:15 p.m. Dustin Lynch, 9:15 p.m. Alabama. Aug. 25: 2 p.m. Jim­mie Allen, 3:45 p.m. High Valley, 5:30 p.m. Tyler Farr, 7:15 p.m. Trace Ad­kins, 9:15 p.m. Toby Keith.

Aug. 26: 2 p.m. Danielle Brad­bery, 3:45 p.m. Michael Ray, 5:30 p.m. Jake Owen, 7:30 p.m. Brad Pais­ley.

Overnight ac­com­mo­da­tions

Go­ing to be there more than one day? Take a look at www.brandy­wineval­ley.com/coun­try.

What not to bring

Be­cause this is a new event, you should know that the fol­low­ing are pro­hib­ited at Citadel Coun­try Spirit USA: Pets, with the ex­cep­tion of ser­vice dogs; video cam­eras; au­dio equip­ment; still pho­tog­ra­phy cam­eras that uti­lize de­tach­able lenses; ar­ti­fi­cial noise­mak­ers or laser point­ers; glass bot­tles or metal cans/con­tain­ers; knives; guns; mace; any item de­ter­mined to be a weapon by se­cu­rity; al­co­holic bev­er­ages (none al­lowed through gate; bev­er­ages are avail­able for pur­chase on the grounds); drugs; squirt guns or bal­loons (through the gate); bi­cy­cles; skate­boards; scoot­ers; ice chests or food pur­chased from restau­rants out­side the fair­grounds; back­packs or bags larger than 12x6x12; tents; and um­brel­las.

Lawn chairs will only be per­mit­ted in the gen­eral ad­mis­sion area; no blan­kets or re­clin­ing lounge chairs.

Strollers will not be per­mit­ted in the aisles, within the seat rows or di­rectly next to the end of the rows, but can be parked in a des­ig­nated area lo­cated be­hind the chairs within the re­served seat­ing area. You will be able to ac­cess the stroller as needed, but it is rec­om­mended that you keep all valu­ables with you.

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Citadel Coun­try Spirit USA per­form­ers High Valley.

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Brad Pais­ley’s big­gest hits in­clude “He Didn’t Have to Be,” “Celebrity,” “We Danced,” “Al­co­hol” and a col­lab­o­ra­tion with fel­low head­liner Alabama, “Old Alabama.”

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Trace Ad­kins’ hits in­clude “Ev­ery Light in the House,” “(This Ain’t No) Thinkin’ Thing,” “I Left Some­thing Turned on at Home” and “The Rest of Mine.”

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Citadel Coun­try Spirit USA per­former Brett Young.

PHOTO BY WILL BUCQUOY

Jake Owen on stage.

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Alabama’s string of hits be­gan in 1980 and in­cludes “Love in the First De­gree,” “Mountain Mu­sic,” “If You’re Gonna Play in Texas” and “Song of the South.”

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Coun­try mu­sic singer Stephanie Grace is one of the ris­ing stars in­vited to per­form.

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Citadel Coun­try Spirit USA per­former Tyler Farr.

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