Usually when one mentions country concerts and Gillette Stadium, it often brings visions and memories of the party atmosphere and the younger crowds associated with the New England Country Festival. Stadium officials however are hoping to avoid that with next year’s George Strait concert.
Speaking to the selectmen last week at the public hearing for the show's application, Jess Stevenson of the Kraft Group said they are not expecting a similar crowd for the Strait show set for May 31, 2014.
“This is a very classic country artist, he draws a far older demographic than what we're typically use to for country shows at Gillette Stadium,” Stevenson said.
Strait, a legend in the country music business, is not the typical concert for Gillette Stadium as county shows at the stadium has been limited to mainly CountryFest and the more pop-oriented Taylor Swift.
Deposit the Stadium Advisory Committee unanimously recommending the approval of the application committee vice-chair Mike Ashapa is not sure who will arrive on the day of the show.
“I think the school is still out in terms of what the audience is going to look like. It’s something we haven't dealt with before,” Ashapa said.
As Ashapa noted, the show will be on the first Saturday after Memorial Day which is one of the first big weekends after college gets out for the summer compared to CountryFest, which usually takes place one of the final weekends of the summer before the start of school.
“Whether they (younger crowd) show up or not is the question. We'll have to wait and see,” Asapa said.
Unlike other shows, there will be no pit or general admission. All tickets will come with an assigned seat. Public Safety and parking lot information will also be sent out to ticket holders by email on the Wednesday or Thursday before the show.
The gates for the show will open at 5 p.m. with the show expected to start at 6 p.m. As usual, public safety and stadium officials will create a public safety plan closer to the show.