As summer approaches, some of the biggest country acts are hitting the road. Not to mention plenty of cool concert series and festivals kicking off. For some of these shows, the only thing hotter than temperatures is ticket prices.
But hey, you can’t put a price on once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Let’s take a look at 10 country concerts you need to see this summer — if you can score a ticket!
10. KOKE FM Free Texas Music Series
Folks in the Texas hill country area should count their blessings. They have one of the best local radio stations anywhere in KOKE FM, which puts on its summer concert series every Wednesday. The series features some of the best in established and upcoming Texas acts. Oh, and it’s totally free. If you’re not within ear shot of Austin you’re missing out, but this series is just too good to leave off the list.
9. Cody Jinks
Speaking of great Texas music, Cody Jinks is taking the modern outlaw country movement by storm. Touring off the strength of his phenomenal album I’m Not The Devil, Jinks is selling out club dates left and right. If you can, try to score tickets to one of his shows with Paul Cauthen.
8. Zac Brown Band
Zac Brown Band tours are massive endeavors, and 2017’s Welcome Home Tour promises to be no different. With a crew that eclipses 100 people, and more than 20 semis and tour buses combined, Zac Brown Band shows are a production in every sense of the word. But with their brand new album Welcome Home, they proved they haven’t forgotten their roots or how to strip it all down to a guitar and a voice. The tour hits more than 40 locations with nearly 50 shows, including rare dates in Alaska.
7. Lady Antebellum
Lady Antebellum is one of the most successful touring acts not just in America, but across the globe. They bring their Grammy-winning sound and a new album this summer to the Heart Break Tour this summer. They’ll hit North American in the summer months before heading overseas, even giving fans in South Africa a chance to see them in October.
6. Eric Church
Eric Church only has a few select dates left over the summer, but all the reviews from previous shows say this may be his most energetic and robust set yet. With nights that get dangerously close to three hours of nonstop Church, true fans will be delighted as he digs into deep cuts and gives it everything he’s got.
5. Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Music Festival Tour
Born of a gathering of modern day country outlaws, Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Music Festival Tour just seems like the natural progression of a bunch of cool people getting together to play music. It originally started as only six dates, but they just added five more in September. Stops feature different performers ranging from Sheryl Crow and The Avett Brothers to Jason Isbell and Bob Dylan. And of course, the legend himself.
4. Bluegrass Underground
Chalk this series up as the hardest one to get to. That’s because it not only requires traveling to a tiny little town in the middle of Tennessee, but also trekking deep down into a cave 300 feet below the surface. But once you’re in The Volcano Room for one of the select shows put on over the summer, the whole thing is a one-of-a-king, acoustically magical experience you simply can’t get anywhere else in the world. Honestly, it doesn’t even matter who is playing. If you can go, you should. Plus it’s always a nice cool sub-70 degrees in the underground, no matter how hot the summer gets!
3. CMA Fest
CMA Fest is a massive four-day country music party that completely engulfs Nashville in June. Damn near everybody under the sun plays the festival, and much of them for free on stages scattered throughout downtown. The big name acts play Nissan Stadium for a price (and pretty much all the good seats are gone by now), but there’s more than enough going on throughout the rest of the day. Plus they’ll air much of the concerts on TV later in the year. And here’s one of the coolest things about the festival: all of the artists donate their time so that all of the proceeds go towards funding the non-profit CMA Foundation, which helps award money to programs that power music education.
2. Tim McGraw & Faith Hill
Just about the only people you won’t see at CMA Fest? Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, whose newest iteration of the Soul2Soul World Tour is sure to be one of the top tours of the year. Fans have waited decades to see Hill back on a tour of this magnitude, and the fact that she’s joined by her superstar husband puts this one over the top. Oh, and don’t forget they’ve got a new duets record coming out sometime in 2017.
1. Chris Stapleton
Chris Stapleton just released his newest album From A Room: Volume 1. To go along with it, he announced a whole slew of new tour dates. Simply put, Stapleton wins rave reviews in every town. Tickets sell like hot cakes and fans can’t get enough. The tour also wins marks for heavily focusing on music instead of theatrics. About one third of the shows sold out already, and the rest are well on there way. Don’t miss out on 2017’s best summer tour.