Garth Brooks in Knoxville signals city’s reputation precedes itself

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE)- The Garth Brooks concert in Neyland Stadium signals Knoxville’s reputation within the music industry precedes itself.

That reputation: A good one.

The city’s central location and variety of potential venues of different sizes make it a contender for performers to stop, according to Visit Knoxville and multiple local industry professionals.

Visit Knoxville partners with venues to ensure fan and artist expectations aren’t just met but exceeded.

Elton John, The Zac Brown Band, all the other exciting things going on. It helps Visit Knoxville tell the story on why you should Visit Knoxville,” Kim Bumpus, president of Visit Knoxville, said.

RELATED: Garth Brooks invites UT students to watch Neyland Stadium soundcheck for free

Bumpas says conversations with performers or events start with a location choice and a business proposal. Once terms are agreed on, Visit Knoxville works to “tell the story” of why patrons, location and Knoxville experience would suit the artist.

Booking a performer takes months, sometimes, even years, according to Brad Painter, senior director of booking operations at AC Entertainment.

Pointer says one of the first places to start when “selling” Knoxville to a potential artist is the number of different venues.

“A venue’s success can show an artist’s representative that there’s a want for this type of entertainment in this market,” Painter said.

The Tennessee Theatre, Bijou Theatre, and The Mill and Mine are all managed by AC Entertainment.

Not included in that list: Neyland Stadium, Thompson-Boling Arena, and Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum.

“When there’s an opening in their schedule, they know they’re going to have a good experience in Knoxville. It’s taken a long time to develop,” Becky Hancock, executive director of Tennessee Theatre, said.

Hancock says every venue is different and caters to a unique experience. For example, in 2005 the Tennessee Theatre was renovated to accommodate traveling Broadway shows.

According to these experts, the success of a concert expected for Garth Brooks — nearly 80,000 tickets sold — signals Knoxville is ready.

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