General admission tickets for each evening concert go on sale June 21 at the Fun Fest Store in Kingsport Town Center.
By JEFF LAMBERT
KINGSPORT — Gavin DeGraw, Rodney Atkins and Little Big Town are among the scheduled concerts for this year’s Fun Fest celebration, organizers announced Wednesday.
The three main concerts will be held at Dobyns-Bennett High School’s J. Fred Johnson Stadium.
The three headlining concerts are a cross-section of country and contemporary music, from the piano-driven alternative sounds of DeGraw to the lofty vocal stylings of country quartet Little Big Town.
Country music chart-topper Atkins will perform on Thursday, July 17, presented by AGC Flat Glass. Atkins was named Top New Male Vocalist in 2006 by the Academy of Country Music. His current album, “If You Are Going Through Hell,” has produced four No. 1 singles. His country-minded song titles include “Wasted Whiskey” and “A Man on a Tractor.” Country artist Ashley Gearing will open.
Singer-songwriter DeGraw will perform on Friday, July 18, presented by Domtar and Eastman Credit Union. DeGraw’s first album, “Chariot,” went platinum with more than 1 million sales. A 2008 eponymous release was the top seller on iTunes during its first few days in stores, when it dropped early last week. The prime-time television crowd may recognize DeGraw’s single, “I Don’t Want To Be,” as the opening song to the teen drama “One Tree Hill.”
Opening for DeGraw will be Saving Jane, a return performer to Fun Fest, and local artist Brinley Addington.
Little Big Town, a 2007 Country Music Association Horizon Award winner, will perform on Saturday, July 19, presented by Eastman Chemical Co. The country vocal quartet has been nominated for Top Vocal Group at the 2008 Academy of Country Music awards. Their second album, “The Road to Here,” produced four top 20 hits, including the country single “Boondocks.” Little Big Town will follow opening act Trey Hensley, a Jonesborough native.
General admission tickets for each evening concert go on sale June 21 at the Fun Fest Store in Kingsport Town Center. Prices for the three headlining acts will be $7.50 in advance through July 10, and $10 beginning July 11. Online sales begin June 21 for $10 per ticket.
“These are great concerts at a price that would be hard to find in other venues for the same entertainment,” said Fun Fest Chairman Olan O. Jones Jr.
Friends of Festus packages are a value-added option for concert goers. Friends of Festus seating packages are $100 for two seats, chairs provided, for one concert night or $200 for those planning to attend all three evening concerts.
The package also includes a reserved parking area close to the stadium and a $15 Fun Fest merchandise gift certificate. Friends of Festus packages are available now at the Fun Fest office at the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, 151 E. Main St.
Fun Fest concert goers will also be treated to the sounds of New Orleans during the celebration. Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Boys will perform at Hot New Orleans Night on Friday, July 11, in Glen Bruce Park. The event is free to the public.
Kingsport native Vic Danger — also known as Victor Simon — will play with his band the Voodoo Doctors on Monday, July 14, at the newly renovated V.O. Dobbins Park. The Zulu Connection, a stilt-walking troupe, will also perform.
For those seeking a quieter night on the town, eight-time Dove Award-winning pianist Dino Kartsonakis will perform at the Toy F. Reid Employee Center on Saturday, July 12. Tickets for