I am a music festival groupie. I plan my vacations around which acts are playing where. And as a longtime country music fan (my first concert was LeAnn Rimes in 1996), I look forward to Bayou Country Superfest every year.
In its sixth year, BCSF is again taking over Tiger Stadium at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge on Memorial Day weekend. Headliners include Kenny Chesney, Brantley Gilbert, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton.
Here are five reasons I think you shouldn’t miss this weekend-long party:
- The music. This year’s lineup is loaded with talent. Kenny Chesney, whom I saw at BCSF in 2010, is a four-time CMA Entertainer of the Year. His performances are fun and electric; I know he won’t disappoint. Brantley Gilbert, winner of the iHeartRadio Music Renegade Award, defies conventional country. I expect lots of energy in his country rock sound. Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton are a country music power couple, and I’m hoping they perform a song or two together. Find the full lineup here.
- Tailgating. This LSU football tradition is an art form and carries over to this festival. Armed with good food and loaded ice chests, friends, family and strangers (read: new friends) gather to enjoy one another’s company. My friends like to stake out a spot under one of the stately oaks near the stadium. Boudin balls from Tony’s Seafood, a Baton Rouge institution, and some Louisiana beer paired with good company make for an enjoyable day. Just make sure you follow the festival guidelines to ensure the safety and enjoyment for all festivalgoers.
- Fan fest. This portion of BCSF is free and open to the public from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. It is a great place to meet up with your friends. I like to dance along to the live musical performances at the Bud Light Stage. Find food, drinks and official festival merchandise, as well as giveaways from local radio stations. Fans also have the opportunity to interact with some of the entertainers at the Artist Meet and Greet Area.
- The fans. It’s a family-friendly crowd, and my entire family has enjoyed this weekend event together. The entertainment is appropriate and enjoyable for all ages. Once inside the stadium, you are singing and dancing with about 50,000 new friends. By the second day, I feel like the people in our neighboring seats are old friends.
- Baton Rouge. The capital city offers much to do when not at the festival. I recommend attractions such as the Capitol Park Museum, BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo or the U.S.S. Kidd – a World War II destroyer – if you are looking for fun for the young (or young at heart). If you are part of a more adult crowd, my friends and I like to test our luck at one of the riverboat casinos. Or if food is your priority, eat your way through the city via Louisiana Culinary Trails. Mason’s Grill has great brunch and Bloody Marys. (Find me there on Sunday morning.) The best burger in town is at George’s, while Izzo’s is where I get my burrito fix.
I’m counting down the days. Find out how you can join the party at LouisianaTravel.com.