Hart Plaza on Detroit’s riverfront was bursting at the seams under sun-filled skies as an estimated 1.3 million people flocked to the open air hot spot for the WYCD Downtown Hoedown May 14-16. With 59 local and national artists, including headliners Dierks Bentley, Uncle Kracker and Zac Brown Band, pulling both avid country music fans and a pop-rock crossover crowd, the 28th annual event drew the largest three day attendance in the free festival’s history.
“I’m so proud of our staff and so appreciative to the City of Detroit for collaborating so successfully again this year to bring music fans the world’s largest free country concert,” said Tim Roberts, WYCD Operations Manager/Program Director.
In a show of solidarity with the Nashville country music industry, WYCD hosted a Nickels for Nashville fundraiser, encouraging attendees to drop cash donations in strategically placed bins at the event to benefit the American Red Cross’s Nashville flood relief effort. Dr. Don Carpenter, host of WYCD’s morning show, continues to plug for donations on-air, asking people who snapped a picture of Dr. Don at the Hoedown to email their photos to [email protected]. Each photo submitted will garner a $1 donation to Nickels for Nashville from Carpenter himself.
The country music crowd was abuzz when word spread that well-known Motown music icon Bob Seger was in attendance. Seger, a good friend of WYCD Downtown Hoedown performer Steve Azar, clapped enthusiastically during Azar’s set from a lounge chair at the back of the stage.