'Country Stampede'
coming to Sparta, Ky.

Three-day music festival
to feature big-name acts

By Don Ward

SPARTA, KY. (February 2003) – Country music fans in the tri-state area – Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana – will be treated with an entertainment extravaganza June 6-9 at the Kentucky Speedway when the facility plays host to the Country Stampede. The three-day festival will feature 50 acts on three stages, with big-name stars such as Travis Tritt, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Kellie Coffey, Brad Paisley, Gary Allan, Phil Vassar, Aaron Lines, Emerson Drive and Sawyer Brown.
Tritt, a multi-platinum country recording artist, and other major performers will entertain the crowd on a main stage in the infield near the speedway’s Turn 3-4. A second stage will preview regional acts, while a Jack Daniels Saloon Stage will feature additional acts, according to concert promoter Gil Cunningham, who is booking the acts. One day will feature Bluegrass music, he said.
“We definitely believe this region holds the potential of hosting one of the biggest country music events we’ve ever produced,” Cunningham said. “We may end up with as many as 70 acts this year,” including some of them from the Tri-State area.”

Nashville singer Shevy Smith unveils
the banner with the Kentucky
Speedway mascot, "Horsepower."

The Country Stampede is a major annual country music event held each year since 1995 in Manhattan, Kan., and operated by company president Wayne Rouse. Last year’s event attracted 140,000 fans.
The Kentucky Speedway venue represents an expansion of the venture and will be co-presented by Belterra Casino Resort in nearby Florence, Ind. The festival is expected to attract more than 100,000 tri-state music fans. The event also will be promoted in Cincinnati by WUBE-105 radio station and in Louisville by WAMZ-FM.
The Kentucky Speedway is not new to music concerts. In addition to several pre-race concerts, the track featured a Metallica “Summer Sanitorium” heavy metal concert held in 2000 that attracted a crowd of 52,000. In 2001, the track featured a stop on the heavy metal “Warped Tour.”
Officials from Country Stampede, Kentucky Speedway and Belterra Casino Resort made the announcement at a press luncheon Jan. 22 at the speedway’s infield media center. Up-and-coming country music performer Shevy Smith, 19, of Haven, Kan., performed some of her original songs as part of the festivities. She will return in June to perform for the crowd.
“We are ready for three-days of great country music,” said Kentucky Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Mark F. Cassis. “Kentucky Speedway has earned a reputation for hosting large, wide-open, fun-for-the-whole-family entertainment, and Country Stampede will not disappoint. This is a fantastic partnership, and we are honored Country Stampede has chosen Kentucky Speedway as the site to expand into this region of the United States.”
Other high caliber acts already committed to the line-up include comedian Jeff Foxworthy, Joe Nichols, Rodney Atkins and Jolie Edwards.
Weekend, single-day and VIP concert passes, as well as Preferred, Reserved and General camping passes are available direct from “Country Stampede” by phone at 1-800-795-8091 and via the Internet through www.countrystampede.com. Fans also can obtain a printable mail-in order form on the site.
“Kentucky Speedway is a perfect strategic partner for Country Stampede,” said Rouse. “Like Country Stampede, Kentucky Speedway is deep rooted in delivering first class events and customer satisfaction. This attitude, combined with the logistics of the site will create a fun-filled, top-quality experience for our festival patrons.”
The Eighth Annual Country Stampede will be held in Manhattan, Kan., on June 26-29.

• For more information on the Country Stampede in Sparta, visit: www.countrystampede.com/sparta/index.html.

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