Big changes coming to WYCD/Detroit's Downtown Hoedown for event's 30th anniversary
What had once been billed as the world's largest free country music festival is making major changes for its 30th anniversary, starting with becoming a ticketed event for the first time ever. The Hoedown will be changing its location away from the riverfront at Hart Plaza, moving to areas surrounding Comerica Park. The other big change will be on the calendar as the event shifts from its traditional early May weekend to June 8th - 12th.
The adjustments will be likely be welcomed by many regular attendees - as the festival has grown through the years, so too have the challenges involved with keeping the experience a positive one for music fans.
"The 30th anniversary of the WYCD Downtown Hoedown marks a tremendous milestone for this iconic Detroit event and offers an ideal opportunity to enrich the overall experience of the attendees," said Debbie Kenyon, Senior Vice President and Market Manager of CBS Radio Detroit. "We had outgrown our previous riverfront location but remained 100 percent committed to keeping the WYCD Downtown Hoedown in the city of Detroit. We can provide the best of everything on the user-friendly grounds surrounding Comerica Park. People feel it's very safe and truly enjoy attending sporting events and concerts there. The layout also allows for much larger and more elaborate staging and better visibility for fans to enjoy the performers. Attendees will also have easier access to concessions, cleaner, more plentiful restroom facilities, and opportunities to take a break in the shade of the Comerica Park concourse."
"We have three fantastic days of entertainment lined up with mega-stars like Miranda Lambert, Montgomery Gentry, Dierks Bentley and Chris Young," said Tim Roberts, Program Director and Operations Manager at WYCD. "With over 40 bands, our three stages and new bigger main stage will provide our fans with a fantastic country music experience and the ability to also head over to Comerica Park for concessions and fun."
Tickets will be required for everyone age 5 and older - prices for individual ticket prices will be announced soon - but a limited number of 30th anniversary 3-day passes at $30 each will go on sale Friday, March 16th at 10 a.m., while supplies last at all Ticketmaster locations, ticketmaster.com, or service fee free at the Joe Louis Arena Box Office, the Fox Theatre Box Office and Hockeytown Authentics in Troy.
The changes announced today address criticisms the event has been drawing in recent years that have ranged from poor weather, crowd control/lines, and attendees that were less interested in the country music being played and more interested in taking part in unwelcome behavior.
More info on the event can be found on WYCD's web site.
Detroit sports media left reeling with loss of Fox Sports Detroit's Tim Bryant
Tim Bryant was much more than the director of media relations with FOX Sports Detroit to many members of the media that touch on sports coverage in Detroit. His sudden death at age 53 over the weekend leaves a huge void, not only for his family, but for anyone that worked with or watched sports on FOX Sports Detroit.
I'll remember Tim as a guy that was always helpful and friendly - and always seemed to put in an extra effort to answer a question or address an issue.
Two of his co-workers have written their memories of Tim:
John Keating: Remembering a gentleman, sports scholar
Mario Imbemba: We've lost a good friend at FSD
A longtime reporter for WWMT-TV Newschannel 3 has left the local station to join the team of Michigan Blood, officials said. Carolyn Wyllie will serve as the organization's public relations supervisor, overseeing public relations activities for a region that includes Kalamazoo, and the Benton Harbor and St. Joseph areas, according to a news release issued by Michigan Blood.
Full story: Carolyn Wyllie, longtime reporter at WWMT-TV, leaving station to join staff of Michigan Blood (Mon, 3/12)
Michigan Association of Broadcasters:
It is with the deepest of sadness that we inform you of the passing of John F.X. Browne. He served on the Michigan Association of Broadcasters board of directors and has been part of our Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference since its beginning. He helped to write the broadcasting tower rules with the Michigan Aeronautics Commission.
Full story: John F.X. Browne Passes (Mon, 3/12)