Luke Bryan is a well-known name in country music, and he’s performing a concert tour across the country filling big venues. But for six shows starting Sept. 26, he’ll be bypassing big-name arenas for a different kind of stage — a farm.
Bryan started his farm-based concert series 11 years ago at an early stage in his career, and since then, attendance has ballooned. “That first year we had 1,700 to 1,800 people at a farm near Claxton, Ga., near where I went to college. Now we have over 17,000 to 20,000 per night,” he told media during a recent conference call. “We’ve had to get really knowledgeable about [setting up] and building a city; it’s like a traveling circus.”
He likes the idea because he knows he’s creating memories, or “the best fan experience and something to look back on,” he said. “People will remember when the farm tour was in that hayfield, and they sat there and had a blast. It’s the most fun of anything I’ve ever done.”
There are six farm-tour stops that will be on farms. Bryan has a team of folks that travel the country looking for suitable venues with the right space and access to get 20,000 people in, and out, from an event.
Here’s a look at this year’s venues for the Bayer Presents Luke Bryan Farm Tour 2019:
Sept. 26. Statz Bros. Farm, Marshall, Wis.
Sept. 27. Stafford Farms, Richland, Mich.
Sept. 28. Miller Family Farms, Pleasantville, Ohio
Oct. 3. MC Farms, Louisburg, Kan.
Oct. 4. Flying B Ranch, Douglass, Kan.
Oct. 5. Adkins Farm, Norman, Okla.
He admits that there have been times when the group has gotten a tour bus stuck. “We’ve had to go back and do some land repair on the farm,” Bryan said.
Sponsor and community connection
As noted, the farm tour is sponsored by Bayer. During the call, Ray Kerins, senior vice president, corporate affairs for Bayer, noted that this is the fifth year of the sponsorship. “We came up with the concept ‘Here’s to the farmer’ which is based on one of Luke’s songs,” Kerins said.
He explains that the hashtag, #herestothefarmer — used on any social media platform — would bring a meal donation to Feeding America. The first year the program supported 300,000 meals. Today that program has grown to support 1 million meals.
For Bryan, the farm connection is strong. His father had farmland and was involved in crop input sales. “I’m the son of a fertilizer chemical company owner, a peanut farmer, and we had a peanut mill,” Bryan said. “It was from my ag background that I started the farm tour.”
It’s the 11th year of the farm tour, and Bryan quipped, “I can’t believe I can say that I’ve done anything for 11 years that was even minimally successful. We have an amazing time with the farm tour.”
As part of the Bayer partnership, the host farmer also gets $5,000 in Bayer product to use next season.
Sponsors for the tour include Bayer, Sweet Leaf Tea, Tracker Off Road, Citi and Monster Energy. If you want more information, visit lukebryan.com/farmtour.