Strait, Chesney slated for October concert.
George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Martina McBride and Willie Nelson have signed on for "One Country," an Oct. 1 Hurricane Katrina relief concert at Reliant Stadium in Houston. CMT will broadcast the concert live and producer Louis Messina, president of TMG/AEG Live, says other artists will likely step forward to take part.
All artists will donate their services and the stadium is donating its services and parking revenues. Concessionaire ARAMARK is donating concessions profits and Ticketmaster is donating 100% of its service fees. Additionally, Morris & Associates is donating sound and lights and StageCo is donating staging.
Messina expects the concert to raise at least $6 million locally, plus donations from the CMT broadcast. Tickets range from $39.50 to $125.
"One hundred percent of the gross will go toward the benefit, because any hard costs we have will be underwritten by either private citizens or companies," Messina tells Billboard.biz. He adds that none of the artists hesitated to participate in the show, despite the fact that most of them aren't currently touring. "It was not about where do I play, who's going to headline," Messina says. "It's very refreshing, and I guess that's why I love promoting country music, honestly. It's real people, with real concerns, and it's not about the money and the ego with these guys. And this is going to be a hell of a show."
"This is not a Louis Messina show at all," adds Messina. " Anybody that wants to jump in and help, I welcome them."
The Katrina catastrophe hits particularly close to home for Messina, who was born and raised in New Orleans and began his career there before relocating to Houston. He promoted the first rock show ever at the Superdome's grand opening in 1975, a bill that included the Allman Brothers Band, the Charlie Daniels Band, the Marshall Tucker Band and Wet Willie.