It was media success last week as the results of television ratings are good for the iHeartRadio Country Festival special on NBC. Positive feedback will likely lead to more collaborations between iHeartRadio and NBC.
The special aired May 27 from 9 to 11 p.m. EST. Primetime ratings indicate the iHeartRadio County Festival tied for the number one spot for most of the evening and edged ahead in some of the demographics. One area where it ranked the top most watched program was among adult men in the 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. slot, according to the numbers.
The music festival was actually held May 2 in Austin at the University of Texas Frank Erwin Center. This is the second year for the iHeartRadio Country Festival. Organizers of the event pulled out all the stops with top headliners performing. Celebrities participating in this year’s festival included Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw and Brantley Gilbert. The emcee was Bobby Jones, an iHeartRadio personality.
Some of the recognizable moments of the festival were those that included the audience. By far, most think the entire audience singing Happy Birthday to Tim McGraw was the highlight of the evening followed by the Band Perry doing their version of Uptown Funk. Rascal Flatts leading an audience sing-along of the pop rock tune Life Is A Highway also ranks as one of the event’s most memorable moments. Darius Rucker took time to crowd surf during his Truth or Darius performance.
This event is one among several niches that iHeartRadio has become involved with in recent years. The iHeartRadio Music Festival is a popular event in Las Vegas. There is also the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Concert Tour, which began in 2013 and is planned for December in various cities. The iHeartRadio Country Festival was also broadcasted live on iHeartRadio’s country radio stations, which number 120 in total, and online on its website at iHeartRadio.com.
An iHeartRadio official said the reason for the success of the country music event is that the artists involved are all prominent in their own rite. There are not many times that such a star-studded lineup is available to perform.
“Every single one of these artists can headline an arena or stadium on their own, but on this night they will share the stage to celebrate the amazing music on our iHeartRadio country stations,” John Sykes, President of iHeartMedia Entertainment Enterprises, told Rolling Stone magazine.
iHeartRadio is counting on interest rising for the country festival next year. The company is already promoting tickets for the iHeartRadio Country Festival for 2016. However, tickets are not on sale yet and there are no definite details about next year’s show. With such good rating for the NBC special featuring the iHeartRadio Country Festival, there is no doubt there will be intense discussion about next year’s show.
The country festival also serves the music artists to promote their own albums and concerts. McGraw used the iHeartRadio Country Festival as a preliminary event for his Shotgun Rider Tour, which features Chase Bryant and Billy Currington. Rascal Flatts kicked off their concert tour, titled Riot Tour, on May 29. Scotty McCreery is joining the group on the tour. Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean are combining their tours this summer and will be joined by Brantley Gilbert on the tour. Chesney has a tight schedule for most of the summer and will be in Indiana, Illinois, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Washington and British Columbia in June.
iHeartRadio will have to do some planning to top its country festivals for the past two years. The first year featured Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood and Hunter Hayes and the 2015 festival included more names. Considering the fact that ratings were good for the iHeartRadio Country Festival special on NBC, planning next year’s special will be a good investment for the future.
By Melody Dareing
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Rolling Stone: Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley Lead 2015 iHeart Radio Country Festival Lineup
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Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Keith Flickr Page – Creative Commons License