99.9 Kiss Country (WKIS) will be announcing the 2014 Chili Cookoff lineup at 7am on November 25th! One of the biggest single-day country music festivals in the nation, the Chili Cookoff draws fans from all around the country for this all-day event that over the years has featured some of the biggest names of the past, present, and future.
Last year’s lineup featured Luke Bryan, Ronnie Dunn, Thompson Square, Florida Georgia Line, and Kacey Musgraves. The show sold out well in advance, as did the year before with a lineup that featured the Zac Brown Band, Luke Bryan, Clay Walker, Chris Cagle, and Sonia Leigh.
While we have no idea who will be on the lineup for 2014, (nor would we announce it until after our friends at the radio station make the big unveiling on-air), it’s always fun to try to guess who will be on the lineup, and this year offers up some exciting possibilities!
Several factors go into booking a show such as this, and sometimes there are clues as to who it can be, and sometimes someone comes out of left field. Earlier this year, Luke Bryan, Thompson Square, and Florida Georgia Line were featured on a tour together, and as 3 of the hottest names in country music right now, it made sense that they brought them in as a package deal.
The year before, Luke Bryan played a couple hours up the road the night before, so from an artist routing perspective, it made perfect sense to have him make the short trip. On the other hand, Ronnie Dunn and Kacey Musgraves were brought in for the show without being on a major tour or being routed in the region before or after. It is this trick-up-the-sleeve that Kiss Country uses to fool everyone when they do their Undercover Concerts and it helps keep things interesting!
The final factor is an item often placed in contracts called a radius clause. It prevents an artist from performing within a certain distance and/or time-frame of another previously booked performance, so if someone played in South Florida in the last 3-6 months, you can likely cross them off the list.
So lets look at it from a routing perspective and see if we can identify some possibilities.
It was announced yesterday that Alan Jackson will be playing a show a couple hours west out in the Everglades the night before. He is a Chili Cookoff veteran and would be a fan-favorite to anchor a lineup once again.
Brad Paisley has a show in Orlando the night before, and would also make a great headliner. I doubt they’d be able to get both Alan Jackson and Brad Paisley on the same lineup, so my guess is that one of these two could be the headliner.
An intriguing list of names comes into play from Port Everglades, where the Country Music Cruise comes back to shore the morning of the Chili Cookoff, offering up a nice list of names to choose from that will already be in town. Some of the possibilities on this list include Vince Gill, Kenny Rogers, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, Patty Loveless, Jo Dee Messina, Ronnie Milsap, Restless Heart, Andy Griggs, Wade Hayes, Ty Herndon, Andy Griggs, Wade Hayes, Jamie O’Neal, The Warren Brothers and Bryan White.
Another possibility is bringing the Roots and Boots acoustic tour down to be in the middle of the lineup. This tour features Joe Diffie, Aaron Tippin, and Sammy Kershaw and will be stopping the night before a few hours up the road in Lake City. If they did bring them in, it’s uncertain whether they would play a full band show and take up 3 of the 5 slots, or if they’d do what they did with Sawyer Brown several years ago (they backed several artists in one set including Carolyn Dawn Johnson) and have the trio serve as one of the five slots.
Merle Haggard has some shows in Florida during the week after and would be an interesting addition if they wanted to go with a “legends” themed show this year. Marty Stuart will also be performing in Florida the night before, but I don’t think he has enough commercial appeal for an event this big.
Some other possibilities that will be on tour at the time, but not necessarily in the region include The Band Perry w/ Easton Corbin, Darius Rucker, Lady Antebellum w/ Kip Moore and Kacey Musgraves, etc.
While I would absolutely LOVE to see it be a “Throwback” lineup of Alan Jackson, Kenny Rogers, a trio of Joe Diffie, Aaron Tippin, and Sammy Kershaw together in an acoustic jam session, and two other 90’s stars from the cruise ship, it’s more likely that some “current” hot stars will be brought in instead.
While we can make some educated guesses, there’s no way of knowing until the official announcement is made. So who do you think will be on the lineup this year? Who would you like to see?