MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Darius Rucker will headline the 2017 Carolina Country Music Fest, taking place in Myrtle Beach from June 9 to 11, 2017.
The music festival's official Twitter account announced Friday that Rucker will perform at the three-day festival. Rucker gained fame as the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the Grammy-award-winning rock band Hootie and the Blowfish, and went on to top the country music charts.
Rucker was born in Charleston, and returns to Myrtle Beach to host the Monday After the Masters charity golf event each year. A recent music video for his song "Homegrown Honey" was shot at Coastal Carolina University.
Brad Dean, president and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, expressed his excitement Friday over Rucker's involvement with the 2017 edition of the CCMF.
"Not only will that help to attract a lot of fans, it'll also strike a chord with South Carolinians because he's a homegrown talent and reaching that level of talent to come to Myrtle Beach signifies that the Carolina Country Music Festival is a major event not only for the Myrtle Beach area, but for country music nationwide," Dean said.
Bob Durkin, CCMF organizer, said they have been trying to get Rucker in the past and that his schedule has finally worked out.
Dean added the festival has been a huge success in its first two years and that next year's event is putting organizers where they'd hoped to be in year five or six.
"When this idea was just an idea and presented to various officials and stakeholders locally, most people kind of rolled their eyes and thought, 'There's no way we can do this in Myrtle Beach. There's no way this can be that big,'" Dean said. "But it just goes to show you what can happen when the public sector and the private sector work closely together and effectively promote an event."
Despite attracting more than 20,000 fans to the old pavilion site in downtown Myrtle Beach for the previous two three-day events, Durkin said he thinks there is room for more. For 2017, organizers are planning more video screens and speakers throughout, he added.
"Every year we want to look to improve and enhance what's happening," Dean said. "There's already been talk about how to add additional entertainment alternatives, maybe to build other activities around there that are family friendly and might appeal to the people coming and maybe attract a few more. We can only grow to a certain level, but the hope is that we can provide a great alternative and build that weekend, which is not an especially busy weekend, to help fill our hotels, restaurants and hopefully gain a lot of publicity for the area."
Previously, Kenny Chesney was announced as the first headliner for the 2017 event in September, and Jason Aldean was announced last month. The music festival's official Twitter and Facebook pages announced that Chesney, an eight-time Entertainer of the Year with 28 No. 1 singles, will be one of over 30 artists to perform at next year's three-day event.
More artists will be announced in the coming weeks, according to a tweet from the event's Twitter account.
General admission tickets are currently priced at $159, VIP passes now run $329, and "Super VIP" passes are $999. The company announced that ticket prices will go up at midnight Friday.
The 2016 Carolina Country Music Fest took place at the former Pavilion site on Ocean Boulevard from June 9 to 12, and an estimated 25,000 people attended. Headliners for this summer's event included Keith Urban, Tim McGraw and Florida Georgia Line.
For more information and to purchase tickets to next year's now, head to: http://www.carolinacountrymusicfest.com/