Famed country singer, Garth Brooks, is performing at Neyland Stadium in November, marking the venue’s first performance in sixteen years.
Brooks will take the stage at 7 p.m. on November 16th as part of his 2019 Garth Brooks Stadium Tour. The heavily anticipated production marks just one of three performances in the venue’s history. Brooks’ upcoming show will take its place among Michael Jackson’s in 1984 and Knoxville-native Kenny Chesney’s in 2003.
Brooks enthusiasts know that some of the greatest gifts are “Unanswered Prayers,” but the country legend’s upcoming concert seems to be one prayer that has come full circle for the singer’s fans and Vols alike.
The University of Tennessee and Visit Knoxville worked together to bring the exciting event to Neyland Stadium and the Knoxville community. The performance has been dubbed the “Third Saturday in November,” a nod to the University’s nickname for the annual game against Alabama, “The Third Saturday in October.”
Neyland Stadium stakes a slot on the 2019 Stadium Tour among the likes of Autzen Stadium, State Farm Stadium, Albertsons Stadium and many other famed venues. While the opening acts for the epic Neyland performance have yet to be announced, fans can rest assured they will not be disappointed, with previous tour dates featuring stars such as Chris Young, Darius Rucker, Joe Nichols and Midland.
In good timing with the Tennessee Legislature’s removal of the ban on alcohol sales at SEC venues, concert-goers aged 21-and-up will have the opportunity to purchase alcoholic beverages once inside the stadium. Representatives for Brooks say that the new alcohol policy did factor into Neyland’s slot in the tour, though not majorly.
UT students are accustomed to the astounding sight of Neyland Stadium nearing capacity on game days; however, students attending the concert may be shocked to see the stadium once again approaching it’s 102,455 seat limit for the Brooks’ concert. Many UT students have expressed their excitement towards the concert being performed right on their home turf.
UT freshman Alli Andrews expressed that she felt lucky to be a UT student during this historic moment in music and UT history.
“I feel like I’m really lucky to be a student during the time that one one of the biggest country music legends is coming to play one of the most legendary concerts at Neyland,” Andrews said. “I already know it’s going to be amazing seeing [everyone] come together to experience something so great.”
All seats in the stadium were available for ticket purchase, including field-level seats. This means that Neyland’s staggering capacity was available to fill, and it’s doing just that, in a rather extravagant way.
Tickets first went on sale on Friday, Sept. 13th at 10 a.m.; however, sales were quickly halted due to a website malfunction, indicating just how highly anticipated the upcoming country music legend’s performance is.
Brooks promptly sent out a tweet to fans to address the issue.
"Knoxville, we have a problem! Big Orange! You may have showed up too big!!! The system is down...Will keep you updated as soon as I know something. Can’t thank you enough for showing up this way! love, g," Brooks said.
Sales were back online by September 19 and quickly sold out. However, fans still seeking tickets to the show are in luck: a third round of sales has been announced for Friday, Oct. 25th at 10 a.m. Tickets are priced at $94.95, with an eight ticket per purchase limit. Ticket inquiries and purchases are available via Ticketmaster a www.ticketmaster.com/garthbrooks.
If the atmosphere of UT’s famed stadium on November 16th resembles anything close to that of a game day, attendees and students alike should prepare for a full-fledged frenzy. Concert-goers are advised to arrive well in advance—preferably several hours—before the 7 p.m. show time.
Parking for the event is also available through Ticketmaster. Upon purchase, concert attendees will be granted a parking pass that will permit them to park in one of UT’s parking lots. For those attendees looking to avoid the chaos of parking altogether, campus’ Circle Drive will act as a ride share area for drop-off and pick-up.
Aside from website-crashing fans and an anticipated crazy atmosphere, the upcoming Garth Brooks showcase is destined to be a night in Neyland that’s hard to forget. Students are already getting excited the Third Saturday in November.
Even students who have already seen Brooks live seem to be particularly excited for the upcoming performance; Abby Blankenship, a freshman student studying dental hygiene and a big Brooks fan, explained that she expects the concert to be fantastic.
“I have seen [Brooks] five times. With Neyland Stadium being my sixth, I am pretty certain it will be the best one yet,” Blankenship said. “It will be a once in a lifetime experience. [Brooks’] concerts are energetic and give me chills every time.”
Considering the effort put into the show by UT, Visit Knoxville and the Garth Brooks crew, combined with the crowd’s enthusiasm for both the country star and the stadium, Brooks’ performance will likely be a Neyland showcase to be talked about for years to come. Fans definitely won’t want to be “Standing Outside the Fire” for this memorable performance.
Blankenship explained how excited she is to see an artist she loves perform at her school.
“There’s nowhere else I’d rather see him than here on Rocky Top,” Blankenship said.