The concert by the viral country-folk singer-songwriter marked the stadium’s largest event ever. The show was sold out to more than 9,000 fans, while the stadium holds 6,000 people. Preparations were made by coordinators to hold the crowd and accommodate for parking.
Oliver Anthony, a stage name known to many in recent weeks after a viral video of one of his songs, “Rich Men North of Richmond,” took the stage Thursday night. The singer, whose birth name is Christopher Anthony Lunsford, is originally from Virginia. He said in a recent podcast interview that his stage name honors his grandfather.
Anticipation for the musician’s performance in the greater Knoxville area had grown since earlier this month after a concert planned at the Cotton Eyed Joe in West Knox County was canceled after a dispute over high ticket prices; then, there was an announcement that his concert was in the works for the Knoxville Convention Center; however, the singer-songwriter settled on a concert with more affordable ticket prices at Smokies Stadium.
Before and just after the concert, traffic in the area was reportedly congested in and around the stadium and at Exit 407 off of Interstate 40. By late Thursday, hours after the concert ended, traffic was calm.