KNEB announced on Friday that Sawyer Brown will be the headliner for the 2020 Oregon Trail Days concert. Josh Gracin will open the show, set for July 11, at Five Rocks Amphitheater.
“We do expect a high demand for the tickets, and typically the reserved front section fills up quickly,” station manager Bill Boyer said. “While we have never officially ‘sold out’ the venue, there are often times people wait too long and can’t get the seating location they want. We really encourage people to buy their tickets early.”
Boyer said a lot of things are taken into consideration when it comes to selecting artists for local shows.
“First, we have to look at artists that can fit into the venue,” he said. “The stage at Five Rocks is limited in size, as well as seating capacity.”
Once they find artists who productions would fit the venue, they have to consider the costs of performers and how that will translate into ticket prices.
“Then, the hardest part begins: Finding artists that fit the first criteria and are available and willing to travel to the area for the date,” Boyer said. “Since Oregon Trail Days are set in advance, we have a date that we need to work with that isn’t flexible.”
While this can limit options, Boyer said they’ve been fortunate enough in the past to find great acts, and this year’s show will be no exception.
“1990s Country has been very popular and there aren’t many names bigger than Sawyer Brown in the ‘90s,” said Boyer. “Certainly Mark Miller and Sawyer Brown are full of energy and won’t disappoint.”
Sawyer Brown was founded in 1981 and has released 18 studio albums. The group has charted 50 times on the Hot Country Songs charts including three number one hits: “Step That Step,” “Some Girls Do,” and “Thank God for You.”
Gracin, a former Marine and American Idol runner-up, also brings a high energy performance, Boyer said.
“Josh will warm you up with some great songs, then Sawyer Brown will knock your socks off.”
This is the fourth concert that KNEB has coordinated for Oregon Trail Days, although they’ve brought a total of six concerts to the area in total, making this the seventh.
Oregon Trail Days turns 99 this year, and Boyer says it is important for the Panhandle.
“Oregon Trail Days, much like all the fairs, festival and events in our area are vital to our communities, not only to the locals and alumni, but to tourists as well,” Boyer said. “We have had people from dozens of states (and even other countries) buy tickets to our previous shows.”
Shows such as this one help boost the local economy, he said, pointing out that many local businesses benefit from concerts that here. Money from each ticket is also given back to the City of Gering to help maintain and improve the amphitheater.
“It’s important for people in our area to appreciate what we have here. Five Rocks is a premiere facility. Every artist we have brought in have been awed by the breath taking shows. We know the people who have been to a show there agree.”
Although tickets aren’t even on sale for this show yet, Boyer is already eyeing next year.
“We are already trying to secure acts for 2021 now,” he said.
The July 11 show will begin with Gracin at 8 p.m.
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on Feb. 28, at kneb.com/tickets.