Kenny Chesney to headline world’s biggest tailgate party

FILE - In this April 3, 2016, file photo, Kenny Chesney performs at the 4th Annual ACM Party for a Cause Festival in Las Vegas. Police said an officer shot several times near Philadelphia got a call from country singer Chesney with an apology for saying he was dead. Chesney gave a shoutout to Officer Christopher Dorman at the Saturday, June 25, 2016, concert in south Philadelphia but mistakenly said he had died. (Photo by Eric Jamison/Invision/AP, File)

BRISTOL (WATE) – Bristol is billed as the birthplace of country music, so it’s only fitting that one of the biggest entertainers in the industry will step on the stage to headline a sold-out concert at college football’s biggest tailgate party.

Kenny Chesney will headline the Bristol Tailgate Party concert Friday, the night before the The Battle at Bristol. With more than 50,000 people expected to attend, the crowd at the tailgate party is expected to nearly total the population of the city of Bristol.

Chesney last performed in East Tennessee in 2003. He graduated from East Tennessee State in nearby Johnson City, Tennessee. He credits his time in Tennessee as where he first learned to love what he does.

“I had a lot of dreams then, but never did I dream I would be playing at Bristol Motor Speedway,” said Chesney. “The idea of that was too big to dream.”

The 140-foot wide stage for Bristol’s tailgate party will also welcome hometown favorites and Grammy-award winning superstar sibling trio The Band Perry. Old Dominion tops of the tailgate ticket.

Complete coverage: Battle at Bristol



  • 9:00 a.m. – Parking lots open
  • 9:00 a.m. – Interactive Fan Zone Opens
  • 2:00 p.m. – Acoustifried Concert, Bud Light Stage
  • 3:15 p.m. – Michele Leigh Concert, Bud Light Stage
  • 4:30 p.m. – Carter Winter Concert, Bud Light Stage
  • 5:00 p.m. – Gates open for Bristol’s Tailgate Party, Stadium Grandstands
  • 6:25 p.m. – Bristol Tailgate Party starring Kenny Chesney, The Band Perry and Old Dominion
  • 10:15 p.m. – Lance Stinson Concert, Stadium Grandstands


  • 7:00 a.m. – Parking lots open
  • 8:00 a.m. – Ticket lots open, Bruton Smith Building
  • 8:00 a.m. – Interactive Fan Zone/Fan Midway Opens
  • 8:00 a.m. – Speedway World Souvenir Store Opens
  • 9:00 a.m. – ESPN College Game Day, Earnhardt East Fan Zone
  • 12:30 p.m. – Dalton and The Sheriffs Concert, Bud Light Stage
  • 1:15 p.m. – Alyssa Micaela Concert, Bud Light Stage
  • 2:30 p.m., Jon Pardi Concert, Bud Light Stage
  • 4:00 p.m. – Ticket Booths/Gates/Trophy Club Opens
  • 4:15 p.m. – Sam Hunt Concert, Bud Light Stage
  • 5:3 p.m. – Virginia Tech Hokie Team Walk, Fan Zone Earhart East/Blue Bridge
  • 5:30 p.m. – Tennessee Vol Walk, Fan Midway / Orange Bridge
  • 7:30 p.m. – Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol Pre-Game Ceremoniese, Stadium
  • 8:15 p.m. – Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol Kick-off, Stadium
  • 11:00 p.m. – Carter Winter Concert, Bud Light Stage

Fan Guide: Everything you need to know for the Battle at Bristol

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