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Luke Bryan on Crash My Playa Festival, Chris Stapleton & Growing His International Audience

Jim Wright
Luke Bryan photographed in 2015.

There’s no doubt that reigning CMA entertainer of the year Luke Bryan has carved out one of the most successful country music careers in the United States. However, the singer might be looking to grow that fan base a little bit more on an international level.

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His Crash My Playa festival last month in Riviera Maya, Mexico, proved to be an undeniable success in its second year. He told Billboard that the idea -- which came from CID Entertainment -- was too good not to consider. “CID has been a part of my VIP program on tour for the last couple of years, and we’ve had a great relationship.  When they came to me with this destination opportunity, it seemed like a great event to team up with them on and to share with my fans.”

Attendees for the four-day festival enjoyed performances from artists such as Craig Campbell, Cole Swindell, Sam Hunt, Brett Eldredge and Dustin Lynch. “We grew the talent lineup this year and [I] was happy to have a lot of my buddies on this one,” Bryan admitted. One name that he was definitely proud to have represented is Chris Stapleton. The singer has long been a champion for the Grammy nominee, and he is glad to say that he’s not alone: “This entire town has been a Chris supporter for a long time now. I’m just glad that he is finally getting the attention he deserves, and it was a no brainer to invite him back to Mexico again this year.” Stapleton has written several songs for Bryan, including the chart-topping “Drink a Beer.”


The Crash My Playa festival is very different from a regular Bryan performance, for obvious reasons. Of course, it’s a multi-day event -- with lodging and food included in the package. Bryan credits CID for making the event as much fun as it was for everyone. “The Mexico trip is such a first class experience for everyone that attends. They cater to everyone’s needs, and it’s nice to see the fans enjoying their vacations and being treated so well," he said. Having a year under his belt with the festival, the singer stresses that everything ran smooth: “Because this was our second year we knew what to expect: first class accommodations, lots of sun and the artists having as much fun as the fans!”

Between the success of the festival -- as well as a successful series of dates in Europe last year -- might Bryan look at expanding his international reach as a performer? He didn’t miss a beat when answering that question. “Of course. It’s always good to be able to put yourself in front of new fans and to play for fans that have never been able to get to a show," he said.

The singer, who has just been nominated for entertainer and vocal event of the year at the 51st Annual Academy of Country Music Awards on April 3 in Las Vegas, will kick off his Kill the Lights Tour on Feb. 18 in Evansville, Ind.

Luke Bryan's Kill the Lights Tour Dates:

Feb. 19 - Peoria, Ill.
Feb. 20 - Cedar Falls, Iowa
Feb. 25 - Montreal, Quebec
Feb. 26 -27 - Uncasville, Conn.
March 8 - Las Cruces, N.M.
March 10 - Houston, Texas
March 11 - Little Rock, Ark.
March 12 - Bossier City, La.
April 7  - Charleston, W. Va.
April 8  - Baltimore, Md.
April 9 - Syracuse, N.Y.
April 12 - Nashville, Tenn. (All for the Hall Concert)