Gretchen Wilson, Easton Corbin headline inaugural DeSoto Music Fest at Manatee Fairgrounds near Bradenton

Country star headlines debut DeSoto Music Fest at Manatee Fairgrounds

wtatangelo@bradenton.comSeptember 20, 2012 

BRADENTON -- The Hernando DeSoto Historical Society, the Bradenton organization behind the monthlong Heritage Festival that includes events across Manatee County every spring, has added a major concert to its calendar.

The inaugural DeSoto Music Fest is Nov. 24 at the Manatee Fairgrounds in Palmetto and features four national country music acts.

Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Friday and cost $29.99; $100 for VIP.

"Redneck Woman" and "Here for the Party" singer Gretchen Wilson headlines with help from Gilchrist County-native Easton Corbin, who became a Nashville star a couple of years back with the smash "A Little More Country Than That." He has a current Top 10 hit with "Lovin' You Is Fun."

The duo Love and Theft, which first found countrywide success with the 2009 single "Runaway," had an even bigger hit earlier this summer thanks to ample

airplay of the fun, bad-girl ditty "Angel Eyes."

"Family Man" singer Craig Campbell rounds out the lineup of national talent.

Local acts Lawyers, Guns & Money and the Dr. Dave Band are listed as the openers with music starting at noon.

Chris Atkinson, president of the Hernando DeSoto Historical Society, and other key members of his organization have wanted to throw a one-day, multi-act concert like this for years.

"Manatee County and Bradenton are growing up and it's the right time for this kind of event," he said. "I don't believe Manatee County has ever seen a single day event this big, with four national acts."

Atkinson added, "There's no way we could put on an event like this without the help of our sponsors, members and the community as a whole."

Information: 941-747-1998 or desotomusicfest.com.

Wade Tatangelo, features writer and columnist, can be reached at 941-745-7057. Follow him on Twitter @wtatangelo.

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