Chalk it up to Hank Williams, Jr.’s classic theme song for Monday Night Football, Tim McGraw’s role in Friday Night Lights or Toby Keith’s brief career as a defensive end for the semi-pro Oklahoma City Drillers. Whatever the reason, country music and football have a long, sweet history of working together.
The two will merge again in late January, during the week leading up to Super Bowl Sunday. On Wednesday, January 28th, Zac Brown Band headline the kickoff date of a three-day, pre-game music festival in Glendale, Arizona. Artists including Calvin Harris, Imagine Dragons and Snoop Dogg are all scheduled to perform later in the week, but Wednesday night is dedicated solely to country music, with Thomas Rhett, Sam Hunt and the Cadillac Three rounding out the bill. In case those names don’t put attendees in a southern state of mind, the $99 festival is also offering Bible Belt amenities like a shooting range and a mechanical bull.
Tickets for the DIRECTV Super Fan Festival, which will be held at the Pendergast Family Farm — walking distance from Super Bowl XLIX’s venue, the University of Phoenix Stadium — are available now via StubHub.
The festival will give Zac Brown Band a chance, if they so desire, to debut some new songs from the band’s Uncaged follow-up, which the group began recording last month at their own Southern Ground studio.
“We’ve got 18 strong songs that we’ve whittled down and gotten ready,” Brown tells Rolling Stone Country, adding, “Our boundaries have dissolved and we’re going to still do things that are somewhat familiar that people like, but we’re also going to stretch out and take chances beyond what we’ve done before. Some people are going to be really surprised.”