Melbourne's Wickham Park hosts the 4th annual Runaway Country Music Festival, March 21st 23rd. You read the sub-title correctly. "Most people associate Keith Urban with Australia", said Runaway Country Executive Producer, Gary McCann. "However for this year's event we are in fact flying Toby Keith from the land down under and Keith Urban will make the jaunt from Nashville ...or Hollywood." McCann went on to explain, "To our knowledge, this is the first time in music history a star has played Melbourne, back to back." That is Melbourne AU and Melbourne FL. Now that's a road trip. Keith ends his current Australian tour March 19th, then heads to Melbourne Florida where he headlines the March 22, Saturday night schedule which also includes Joe Nichols, Rodney Atkins, JT Hodges, Blackjack Billy and more. According to Runaway Country Production Assistant, Alice Healy, "The transformation of the park into a music fans playground has started. Offices are in, surveying, marking, and signage is underway. Next week the stage arrives along with fencing, corporate suites and sky decks. Its a really neat process. There's a lot of work to do to get ready for what is the biggest line-up in the festivals four year history."
Several new attractions for attendees this year include a new lounge cleverly titled; My Apartment offering lunch and dinner reservations during the day, then as soon as the main stage closes, it transforms into an after hours nightclub with live entertainment. Also, there are new corporate cabanas, a large double truck Budweiser beer garden with 12 corn-hole courts, a 50 ft. Kayak pool by Bass Pro Shops, Ole Smoky Moonshine sky deck, Jack Daniels Distillery Tour and much more. McCann added, "Food is a key attraction. Outback Steakhouse, Slow and Low, wood fired Pizza by Shadrachs and other great menu items are all available in the Food Court, next to the Outer Limits Party Zone." And of course, a huge variety of shopping choices from merchants like Guy Harvey, Buckd Up Apparel, Leon Leathers and approx.
Runaway Country doors open at 11 am each day beginning Friday, March 21 with The Band Perry and Chris Cagle then runs all weekend to Sunday evening with a grand finale by Keith Urban. Music fans have an option of single day ticket at $79 or a 3-day weekend pass for $129. At press time, just a few RV and tent campsites are available. Hotels are within 5 to 15 minutes of the Festival site.
For ticket information go to RunawayCountry.com or phone 321-549-4204.