Lee Brice is returning to New York’s Capital District this summer as the headliner for the WGNA Countryfest 2016. Joining him at the Schaghticoke Fairgrounds in Schaghticoke, New York, will be the Eli Young Band and Granger Smith. Brice, whose “I Don’t Dance” took home Single of the Year at the 2015 ACM Awards, performed last summer at Saratoga Performing Arts Center as the special guest of Brantley Gilbert. This year’s festival, scheduled for July 9, marks the 23rd year New Country 107.7 GNA of Albany has hosted the event, which is recognized as the largest one-day country music fest in the region.
The Eli Young Band’s live act isn’t new to Capital District country fans having played the Troy Music Hall, and opening for Darius Rucker and Kenny Chesney at the Times Union Center. The four-man Texas band, lead by Mike Eli and James Young, took home the ACM Song of the Year and Single of the Year in 2011 with “Crazy Girl,” a song written by Lee Brice. They repeated their Single of the Year win in 2012 with “Even if it Breaks Your Heart.”
The third big act hasn’t taken home any major awards yet, but Granger Smith is making waves in country music. Named “Hottest Artist to Watch in 2016” by Taste of Country, his “Backroad Song,” the lead-off single from his newest release Remington, hit the top spot on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart in February. The singer/songwriter from Texas has built a large following as his comedic, tobacco-chewing alter ego Earl Dibbles Jr.
More bands will be announced as the date of Countryfest 2016 draws closer. The festival offers three ticket levels. Super VIP Tickets ($199 per person) include special access to the VIP area with private cash bar, complimentary food, restrooms, bleacher seating, a shaded area and free parking. VIP Tickets ($75) include reserved seats near the stage and free parking. General Admission tickets are $35. Ticket prices exclude processing fees. Tickets are available here.
The Schaghticoke Fairgrounds are 25 miles north of Albany located at 69 Stillwater Bridge Road, Schaghticoke, New York. Food and beverage vendors will be on site. Parking is available on the fairgrounds. Gates open at 11 a.m.