"Big Country" WGTY 107.7 saved the announcement of one of its biggest acts for the free stage at the York Fair until last when the station announced Monday that the Swon Brothers will complete the free country concert lineup.
The country music duo is set to perform Monday, Sept. 8. They were one of the first acts the station contacted this year, said station operations manager and DJ Scott Donato.
"Each year, we seek out the hottest up-and-comers from Nashville," Donato said, adding the Swon Brothers' quick rise to fame after placing third on Season 4 of The Voice was a large motivator for setting up a concert featuring the duo.
"Arguably, they're one of the largest acts on the free stage this year," Donato said. "Having to wait an additional six weeks to announce it has been somewhat painful."
Stage lineup: The station announced the rest of the lineup for the Great Country Radio Stage in July. That lineup includes Jamie Lynn Spears, Chase Rice and Sam Hunt, among others. The station booked the Swon Brothers first, but had to wait until Monday to announce it because of a contract clause, Donato said.
The duo's hit single "Later On" is already at number 15 on the country charts, Donato said, but could be a number one song in coming weeks. In addition, Rice's single "Ready, Set, Roll" and Hunt's "Leave the Night On" are also doing well on national charts, Donato said.
"It wouldn't surprise me if either of those songs went to number one as well," he said.
The allure of the free stage each year happens in part because people who attend the concerts can look back a few years later and remember when they saw famous artists for free, before they started selling out stadiums for tours, Donato said.
"That's what we're able to do with this stage - showcase new talents," he said, adding past acts on the stage have included Rascal Flatts, Eli Young Band and Luke Bryan.
Concert voting: The radio station also is hosting a competition this year in a partnership with PeoplesBank that will select four local acts to perform on the Grandstand of Stars stage Sept. 5. The station is allowing listeners to vote on its website, wgty.com, to select the acts from eight submissions.
Voting ends this Friday morning, Donato said, and the four acts for the Grandstand Challenge concert will be announced Friday afternoon on air.
That event will be emceed by Donato and Jamie Lynn Spears, following her own concert on the station's free stage.
The lineup of the concert will depend on the number of votes each act receives, Donato said. Spears will sign autographs after the grandstand show, he added.
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