Gretchen Wilson, Easton Corbin headline new DeSoto Music Fest in Manatee near Bradenton

November 22, 2012 

The Hernando DeSoto Historical Society, the Bradenton organization behind the monthlong Heritage Festival that includes events across Manatee County every spring, has added the DeSoto Music Fest to its calendar.

The inaugural festival is Saturday at the Manatee County Fairgrounds in Palmetto and features four star country music acts: Gretchen Wilson, Easton Corbin, Love & Theft and Craig Campbell.

Bradenton acts Lawyers, Guns & Money and the Dr. Dave Band are also scheduled to perform.

Gates open at 11 a.m. with entertainment scheduled throughout the day into the night.

Food and beverages will be available for purchase with arts and crafts vendors. There's also a free "kids zone" and no charge for parking.

Here's the music schedule:

Lawyers, Guns, & Money: Noon-1 p.m.

Band features Dave Becker, Greg Smith, Marcel Ledbetter, Peter Gatti, Tarah Van Fossen and Mark Blinkhorn.

Dr. Dave Band: 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Band plays "country grass rock."

Craig Campbell: 3-4 p.m. Singer-songwriter from Georgia broke out last year with his self-titled album that contains the hits "Family Man" and "Fish."

Easton Corbin: 4:45-5:30 p.m.

Gilchrist County native introduced himself to country fans in 2009 with the neo-traditionalist hit single "A Little More Country Than That." He has a current smash with "Lovin' You Is Fun." See accompanying interview.

Love & Theft: 6:15-7:30 p.m.

The country-pop act first found countrywide success with the 2009 single "Runaway" then scored an even bigger hit earlier this summer with the bad-girl ditty "Angel Eyes."

Gretchen Wilson: 8:30-9:45 p.m.

The singer and co-writer of the 2004 country anthems "Redneck Woman" and "Here for the Party" has been known to rock out in concert with covers of Heart ("Barracuda") and Led Zeppelin ("Rock and Roll").

Details: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Nov. 24, Manatee County Fairgrounds, 1402 14th Ave. W., Palmetto. Tickets: $29.99 (general admission); $100 (VIP: first five rows includes food and drinks); children 10 and younger are free. Information: 941-747-1998 or www.desotomusicfest.com

--Wade Tatangelo

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