Rick Whetsel, founder of Nashville-based independent promoter Great Big Shows, has been named director of special events for Nashville promoter Outback Concerts.

Whetsel started Great Big Shows in 1998, booking primarily up-and-coming bands in such venues as the Exit/In, which he owns. Last year, Whetsel expanded GBS into the event production realm, including a partnership with Red Mountain Entertainment and Blue Deuce Entertainment to produce Nashville's annual Crawfish Boil each May. Other events included Vanderbilt University's Commodore Quake and Rites Of Spring events.

Outback Concerts was founded in 1997 by Mike Smardak and is one of the most
successful independents in the country, responsible for promotion of the successful Blue Collar Comedy and Larry the Cable Guy tours and numerous one-off concerts annually. Outback is also aligned with Chicago-based independent promoter Jam Productions, three-time winner of Top Independent Promoter at the Billboard Touring Awards.

Whetsel tells Billboard.biz that Great Big Shows will for at least the time being continue to promote and produce shows for up-and-coming artists under the Great Big Shows banner.