Dierks Bentley to Headline Free Concert

On Saturday, April 27 at NFL Draft and St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville® Marathon & ½ Marathon

From Country, Rock, Pop, Americana, Blues and More – to Perform on Main Stage, Fan Zone
More Than 20 Nashville-Based Acts

NASHVILLE – Multi-Platinum singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley will headline a free outdoor concert on Saturday, April 27 as part of the 2019 NFL Draft and St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville® Marathon & ½ Marathon at the Draft Main Stage in downtown Nashville, the NFL, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp announced today.

More than 20 Nashville-based acts representing diverse genres of music will perform during the three days of activities on the Draft Main Stage and at the NFL Draft Experience presented by Oikos® Triple Zero, a free admission football festival held outside Nissan Stadium. They include country/rock “Nashville” TV show star Charles Esten, alternative country/Americana artist Rayland Baxter, pop and indie rock artist Mikky Ekko, and country singer-songwriter Charlie Worsham. No other NFL Draft has integrated free live music to the degree that will be included in the Nashville Draft. McGraw serves on the Nashville Local Organizing Committee for the Nashville Draft.

Previously announced, GRAMMY-winner Tim McGraw will headline for the NFL Draft on Friday, April 26 and GRAMMY-winning gospel music great CeCe Winans will sing the National Anthem to help open NFL Draft activities on Thursday, April 25.

“We are confident that this year’s NFL Draft will be an unforgettable experience for our fans and the entire Nashville community, showcasing an exciting fusion of football and music” said NFL Executive Vice President, Club Business & League Events, Peter O’Reilly.

“Nashville’s NFL Draft is shaping up to be the best ever,” Nashville Mayor David Briley said. “Dierks and the other acts announced today will only add to the amazing atmosphere we are creating for the event. Nashville’s music scene is truly special, one of the major reasons I believe the NFL wanted to come to our city.”

The 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville is expected to be the largest event in Nashville and the State of Tennessee given the anticipated attendance over three days, national networks and media coverage.

Downtown Nashville’s Lower Broadway and the area outside Nissan Stadium will host free, public activities for the 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville April 25-27. The 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville will continue the NFL’s centennial season celebration that kicked off at Super Bowl LIII in February. The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp, in partnership with the Tennessee Titans, led the bid process for the NFL Draft on behalf of the city.

McGraw will perform a free outdoor concert on Lower Broadway on Friday, April 26 at the Draft Main Stage, which is where the player selections will take place. Bentley will perform on Saturday, April 27. The McGraw and Bentley concerts will both begin at the conclusion of selection activities on Friday and Saturday.

The 20th running of the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon & ½ Marathon also is taking place April 27-28, and the Bentley concert will double as the traditional headlining concert for the running event’s participants on Saturday, April 27.

“This year’s St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon & 1/2 Marathon and NFL Draft festivities are going to be memorable as we celebrate 20 years and the NFL celebrates 100 years,” said Keats McGonigal, Senior Regional Director for Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series. “We are excited to work closely with the NFL and the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. to engage our runners in the numerous events and concerts during the 2019 NFL Draft. This is especially true on Saturday night with Dierks Bentley, which gives our runners an exciting headliner to celebrate the conclusion of our race in Music City.”

McGraw has had 43 number one radio singles, 16 number one albums and countless industry awards and accolades. McGraw recently performed for the NFL’s official Tailgate party at Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta.

Bentley has earned billions of digital streams and countless nominations from the ACMs, Billboard Music Awards and more. He has been nominated for 13 GRAMMY awards – including at least one stemming from each of his last six albums. Bentley is on his 2019 BURNING MAN TOUR, which included a stop on Friday, Feb. 22 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena after making a sold-out headlining debut in 2016.

Additional performances will be announced in the coming weeks.

Draft Main Stage on Lower Broadway
Friday, April 26: Tim McGraw
Saturday, April 27: Dierks Bentley

NFL Draft Experience Stage Thursday, April 25:
New North (Americana)
Striking Matches (alternative rock, pop rock and blues rock)
Mikky Ekko (alternative)

Friday, April 26:
Willie Jones (country)
Kid Politics (indie pop)
Jessy Wilson (neo soul/rock)
Charlie Worsham (country singer-songwriter)
Jonny P (soul)
Rayland Baxter (alternative)

Saturday, April 27:
Katie Schecter (Rock n Roll and soul)
Jason Eskridge (soul)
Three Star Revival (soul/jam/funk/Americana/rock)
Andrew Combs (indie folk)
Charles Esten (country/rock “Nashville” TV show star)

Sponsored by Bridgestone, Bud Light, Dannon, FedEx, Ford, Lowe’s, Mars, Nationwide, Pepsi, Pizza Hut, Sleep Number, Verizon and Visa

The NFL Draft Experience presented by Oikos® Triple Zero is a free admission, three-day football festival held outside Nissan Stadium. Representing the largest festival footprint ever created by the NFL, fans can participate in interactive exhibits, immersive games, virtual reality experiences, free player autograph sessions and more.

NFL Draft Experience hours of operation:
April 25 (Thursday): 12PM to 10PM
April 26 (Friday): 12PM to 10PM
April 27 (Saturday): 9AM to 6PM

Activations at the NFL Draft Experience:

  • Autograph Stage with current NFL players and NFL Legends
  • Interactive games, Play Football clinics, and PLAY 60 Zone presented by Danimals® for the smallest NFL fans
  • Photo with the Vince Lombardi Trophy
  • NFL Shop presented by Visa at Draft with exclusive NFL merchandise
  • Taste of Tailgate with Nashville restaurants and Bud Light Bars
  • NFL Draft Experience Draft X stage with 1 Nashville-based artists of all genres
  • Look Like a Pro: Step inside a replica NFL Draft Main Stage bearing a draft day jersey of your favorite NFL team and have your photo taken. Share your photos through your favorite social channel and Fan Mobile Pass.
  • PEPSI NFL Helmet Photo Opportunity: Find your favorite NFL team oversized helmet and have your photo taken. Share your photos through your favorite social channel and Fan Mobile Pass.
  • Combine Corner
    • 40-Yard Dash: Race down the field against your opponents and digital NFL players on a giant 40-yard long LED wall.
    • Vertical Jump: Jump as high as you can and hit the corresponding flag to discover your vertical reach just like at the NFL Scouting Combine.

The Draft Main Stage location will be at First and Broadway. Free and open to the public to view Draft selections and the McGraw show. Draft picks on Main Stage will take place evenings of April 25 (Thursday) and April 26 (Friday) and during the afternoon of April 27 (Saturday).

Schermerhorn Symphony Center will be host to Selection Square, which features the team tables where representatives from each club will make their Draft selections. The NFL Draft Red Carpet will take place on April 25 (Thursday) at The Green at Riverfront Park.

Admission to the 2019 NFL Draft is free and open to the public. Fans can follow the action at NFL Draft 2019 with the Fan Mobile Pass app. The app will serve as the central hub for information and updates on the Draft Experience concert series and a chance to gain access to exclusive viewing areas at the NFL Draft Main Stage to watch in person as the picks unfold and Draft boards come to life. The Fan Mobile Pass app will be available in early/mid-April, and all fans who pre-register will be notified when the app is available. Register today at NFL.com/FanMobilePass.

On Location Experiences – the Official Hospitality Partner of the NFL – will offer exclusive access to the 2019 NFL Draft. Ticket packages include a dedicated viewing area for Thursday’s Red Carpet, elevated and covered seating with fantastic sightlines, all-inclusive food and beverage, meet & greets with NFL Legends and much more. Ticket packages for Thursday, Friday and Saturday go on sale March 20th. Fans should visit nflonlocation.com/nfldraft for more information.

The 40-member 2019 NFL Draft Local Organizing Committee includes honorary co-chairs Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee; Mark Ezell, Commissioner at Tennessee Department of Tourist Development; Bill Haslam, former Governor, State of Tennessee; David Briley, Mayor, Metro Government of Nashville and Davidson County; and Amy Adams Strunk, Owner, Tennessee Titans. Co-chairs are Steve Underwood, CEO and President, Tennessee Titans, and Dan Mohnke, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing and Operations, Nissan Division U.S.

Suggested Hashtag: #NFLDraft
Suggested Tweet: ANNOUNCED: @DierksBentley and 14 other Nashville bands will perform at the 2019 @NFL Draft in Nashville! Go to https://visitmusiccity.com/nfldraft for the full lineup and #NFLDraft details, and follow @visitmusiccity for updates.

Tim McGraw
Tim McGraw’s unparalleled career includes 43 number one radio singles, 16 number one albums and countless industry awards and accolades. His unique chart achievements include having three singles in the Top 20 of the radio charts on multiple occasions, as well as having two singles spend over 10 weeks at number one. His last solo project spawned one of the biggest hit singles of all-time, “Humble and Kind,” whose message continues to impact fans around the world including a Spanish version sung by McGraw. He has routinely been cited as one of the biggest touring artists in the history of country music. McGraw recently performed for the Super Bowl Pregame Show’s Tailgate Party in Atlanta. timmcgraw.com

Dierks Bentley
Pegged as “one of Country music’s most enviable brands, equal parts affability and authenticity” (Forbes), Bentley continues to be a dominant voice for the genre with over 8.6 billion overall digital streams. Reaching a new creative high while “making music designed to challenge” (New York Times), Bentley co-wrote 10 of his current album THE MOUNTAIN’s (Capitol Records Nashville) 13 tracks, which earned him the highest debut sales of his career and became his seventh chart-topping album. Critics continue to applaud “one of the most joyful, brazen, and cohesive collections of his career” (Entertainment Weekly), as it was featured as one of “2018 Best Albums” by Esquire, USA Today, Rolling Stone, The Tennessean, and more. It was also was one of the only Country albums on Billboard’s all-genre year-end list. THE MOUNTAIN garnered multiple nominations, including “Album of the Year” nods from the ACM and CMAs and has been streamed more than 245 million times. Bentley has amassed 18 career number ones, billions of digital streams, countless nominations from the ACMs, Billboard Music Awards and more, while earning 13 GRAMMY nominations – including at least one stemming from each of his last six albums. Bentley will make notable stops throughout the country on his 2019 BURNING MAN TOUR sponsored by 5-hour ENERGY®, with special guests Jon Pardi, Tenille Townes and the Hot Country Knights, including his return to Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena after making a sold-out headlining debut in 2016. dierks.com

CeCe Winans
The best-selling and most-awarded female gospel artist of all time, CeCe Winans has long since cemented her status as one of the most accomplished and celebrated women in modern music history. Recording and performing as both a solo artist and as a duo with her brother BeBe, CeCe has influenced a generation of gospel and secular vocalists over the course of her astonishing career. She’s been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the Music City Walk of Fame, in addition to being named a Trailblazer of Soul by BMI and garnering multiple NAACP Image Awards, Soul Train Awards, Essence Awards, and more. She’s sold in excess of 5 million albums in the United States, topping the Gospel charts repeatedly while crossing over with smashes like “Count On Me,” her stunning duet with Whitney Houston from the multi-platinum Waiting To Exhale soundtrack, which sold 2 million copies and cracked the Top 10 on the Pop, R&B, and Adult Contemporary charts. cecewinans.com

Andrew Combs
With the deluxe reissue of Andrew Combs’ debut album, Worried Man, in January, the Texas-bred, Nashville-based artist has been given that rare opportunity: a do-over. The deluxe version of Worried Man (reissued via New West Records and Loose Records in the UK/EU), includes two songs from the album Andrew has re-recorded for the release. A deluxe re-release of Andrew’s second album, All These Dreams, is forthcoming, and in the midst of all this activity, Combs has also found time to write and record songs for the follow-up to last year’s 5 Covers & A Song EP, tentatively scheduled for release later this year. andrewcombsmusic.com

Charlie Worsham
Beloved within the Nashville community, Charlie Worsham continues to receive widespread attention for his new album, Beginning of Things. NPR Music praises the way his music exhibits “deep musicality…great playing, [and] sophisticated lyricism…” with Rolling Stone naming the album to their 40 Best Country and Americana Albums of 2017 calling it "The Most Vulnerable Country Album” of the year. Variety, CMT, and PopMatters are just a few of the esteemed outlets who included his sophomore effort on year-end best of lists. charlieworsham.com

Charles Esten
Known best for his role as Deacon Claybourne on the hit television show NASHVILLE, Charles (Chip) has performed on WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY, as well as appearing on many other films and television shows including THE POSTMAN, NYPD BLUE, ER, BIG LOVE, and the American version of THE OFFICE. He currently has a recurring role on TNT’s TELL ME YOUR SECRETS. It was NASHVILLE that reopened Esten’s musical career, and over the course of the last six years he has performed hundreds of live concerts. In January of this year he completed his first solo twelve-city tour through a sold out UK and Netherlands, and standing room only shows in Germany.

Jason Eskridge
Vocal powerhouse Jason Eskridge has worked either as a background vocalist or opening act for countless award-winning acts such as Zac Brown Band, Lyle Lovett, Randy Travis, Jonny Lang, Amos Lee, Taj Mahal, Keb Mo', Nicole C. Mullen, Marc Broussard, Robert Glasper, Chris Tomlin, Toby Mac, and Crowder. He has also been featured as a guest vocalist on numerous projects. Jason has traveled across the country playing various venues for anyone who has a listening ear. He has also had the opportunity to take his music abroad to Japan, South Africa, Amsterdam, India, and England. Jason's latest release is entitled "Live in Nashville" and he is currently working on a new project. jasoneskridge.com

Jessy Wilson
Years before she toured the world alongside Alicia Keys, wrote songs with John Legend, belted the Southern rhythm and blues with Muddy Magnolias and kicked off a solo career with 2019's Phase, Jessy Wilson grew up in Brooklyn, listening to the diverse sounds that filled her family's apartment. Those influences come together on Phase, the Grammy-nominated songwriter's first release as a solo artist. Written and recorded with producer Patrick Carney—drummer for the Black Keys—Phase brews up its own storm of soulful sound. Gritty and progressive, Phase reintroduces Jessy Wilson as we've never heard her before: undiluted, unaccompanied and unleashed. jessy-wilson.com

Jonny P
In just a few years the Bronx-born, Nashville-based singer- songwriter has served up some truly delicious tunes rooted in the sounds of the past but anchored firmly and irrevocably in the present, defined by disarmingly direct arrangements, a superlatively smooth vocal style, and an undying belief in the power of soul. In addition to wrapping his first role in the upcoming film by director Kathryn Bigelow, a fictionalized chronicle of the Detroit riots of 1967, he released his second EP, Good To You, April 21st. In 2014 he self-released his debut EP, Right to You, which introduced him as one of Nashville’s most thrilling new voices, and his new material builds off that strong foundation. imjonnyp.com

Katie Schecter
Katie Schecter is a native New Yorker and singer/songwriter who cut her musical teeth playing and touring in local bands before decamping to Nashville. Alongside Cage the Elephant guitarist Nick Bockrath, Schecter managed to capture her idealized sound – a live, gritty blend of raw garage rock and psychedelic pop, with a contemporary sensibility. Those compelling end results can be found on her latest eponymous release. katieschecter.bombplates.com

Kid Politics
One of the buzziest new bands in the Nashville pop scene, Kid Politics has quickly made a name for themselves with an arena-ready live show, hook-laden anthems and a lead singer with a voice unparalleled in the current pop landscape. The band was formed in late 2016 when lead singer Kelby Dover was introduced to drummer Michael Mann by a mutual friend. Adding the bass prowess of Conroe, Texas native, Nick Arbuckle in the spring of 2018, Kid Politics was born. Already drawing comparisons to Twenty One Pilots, Imagine Dragons and OneRepublic, Kid Politics are poised to break through with heartfelt lyrics, sing-along melodies and an electric live show. kidpoliticsofficial.com

Mikky Ekko
Born in Louisiana and finding his feet in Nashville, Mikky Ekko is a true artist through and through. Since the release of his debut EP ‘Strange Fruit’ in 2009, he’s continuously aimed to push the boat out, to fall somewhere into the alternative group of musicians while also retaining a popular songwriting sensibility. Though ‘Time’ was a stumbling block, it was also a learning process and one that’s now serving his upcoming album ‘FAME’ – a release that boldly goes back to Ekko’s roots. mikkyekko.com

New North
NEW NORTH is a dynamic, singer/songwriter duo. Krista Marie is the “NEW" from upstate, New York and her partner Damien Horne hails from “NORTH" Carolina. Both are extremely seasoned road veterans & major label recording artists. Damien & Krista tour extensively performing all over North America & internationally in Australia & Europe. Two of the three founding members of the high energy Country act known as "The Farm,” Krista & Damien scored a major Country hit with their debut single “Home Sweet Home.” Scheduled to release their new EP this spring, NEW NORTH is hitting the road in support of the project. newnorthmusic.com

Rayland Baxter
Rayland Baxter’s spectacular new album, ‘Wide Awake’ infuses Baxter’s easygoing, soulful sound with British Invasion melodies and rock and roll swagger, marrying lean, muscular songwriting with adventurous, inventive arrangements. His music has earned Baxter festival appearances from Bonnaroo to Newport Folk in addition to tours with an astonishing array of artists, including Jason Isbell, The Lumineers, Kacey Musgraves, The Head and The Heart, Shakey Graves, Lauryn Hill, and Grace Potter. raylandbaxter.com

Striking Matches
Following the international success of Striking Matches’ album “Nothing But The Silence”, produced by T-Bone Burnett, and 9 songs on TV’s “Nashville”, Justin Davis and Sarah Zimmermann continually prove to be the band that cannot be defined by old school music row boundaries. For their upcoming 2019 EP release, they have settled in a style all their own that they’ve coined as “blues-pop” - an amalgamation of their blues and roots based guitar riffs, combined with pop melodies. strikingmatches.com

Three Star Revival
Three Star Revival was founded by frontman Ben Gaines and lead guitarist Cameron Moore in 2015. Initially playing with a rotating cast of Knoxville musicians, Gaines and Moore solidified their touring lineup with keys player Gregory Walton, bassist Tyler Reddick, and drummer Bo Kitzman. The group has been lucky enough to share lineups with the likes of Moon Taxi, Perpetual Groove, Keller Williams, Big Something, and CBDB as well as additions to festivals like Rhythm and Blooms and Bonnaroo. threestarrevival.com

Willie Jones
Willie Jones is a uniquely gifted recording artist who melds deep country roots, R&B influences, and hip hop into a sound and experience that consistently incites rave reviews from fans and superstars. Willie first broke into the international limelight on X Factor. His debut music video for “Runs In Our Blood” was simultaneously featured on the popular country music site The Boot and urban juggernaut World Star Hip Hop. His acoustic EP entitled “Road Waves” released on 4 SOUND / Empire Records, garnered the attention of all the key digital musical outlets and Nashville based music publisher, Black River Music, who signed the artist to a multi year deal. His full length album is scheduled for release in Fall 2019. williejones.com

St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon & 1/2 Marathon
The St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll® Nashville Marathon & ½ Marathon will celebrate its 20th year running in the Music City on April 25-28, 2019. Featuring many of Nashville’s best live bands on 32 stages along the course, the musically themed road race annually attracts more than 30,000 runners. On Saturday, April 27, the marathon, half marathon and 5K conclude with a finish line festival outside of Nissan Stadium. Race week kicks off with the two-day Health & Fitness Expo on Thursday, April 25 and Friday, April 26 at Music City Center. The one mile and the KiDS ROCKTM Nashville presented by YMCA of Middle Tennessee takes place on Sunday, April 28 at Nissan Stadium. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series® is the world’s largest running series taking part in over 30 destination events around the world every year. For more information, please visit RunRocknRoll.com/Nashville or follow @RunRocknRoll on Twitter with hashtag #RNRNASHVILLE.

The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp
The mission of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp is to maximize the economic contribution of the convention and tourism industry to the community by developing and marketing Nashville as a premier destination. Visit the NCVC’s website and follow us on social media: