Downtown Detroit Readies for ‘Hoedown’: Major Label Acts to Take Stage in Hart Plaza

Major Label Acts to Take Stage in Hart Plaza

Trace Adkins, Montgomery Gentry, Yankee Grey and newcomer Clay Davidson will kick off the three-day “Downtown Hoedown” May 19 in Detroit. First held in 1983, the event has become a major country music festival for southeastern Michigan and surrounding areas, last year attracting more than 750,000 people.

“I get so close to it, but I think we’ve got one of the best lineups ever,” event producer Michael Watts says of this year’s talent. “We try to keep it fresh. It’s really become the kick off of the festival season.”

Slated for the Saturday (May 20) show are Doug Stone, Jennifer Day, Tracy Lawrence, Wade Hayes and headliner Mark Wills. The Sunday (May 21) roster includes Eric Heatherly, Rascal Flatts, Steve Holy, Chad Brock and Chely Wright. Several Detroit-area acts also are set to play along with the major-label performers.

Watts says the actual attendance will depend on the weather, but promoters expect to exceed last year’s number. A high turnout means great things for the non-profit groups who handle concessions. Several charities, including the AIDS-related support group Kids Like Us and the City of Detroit’s recreation fund, benefit from monies raised from drink sales.

You can be a part of the Downtown Hoedown right here. has joined forces with House of Blues Digital to webcast portions of the three-day event. Also linking to the festival through its website is co-sponsor WYCD-Detroit, as well as 13 other country stations: WUSN-Chicago, WYRK-Buffalo, WIRK-West Palm Beach, WSOC-Charlotte, WHOK-Columbus, KFRG/KFXG-Riverside, KFKF-Kansas City, KIKK-Houston, KILT-Houston, KSKS-Fresno, KMPS-Seattle, KYCY-San Francisco and WQYK-Tampa.

For a complete listing of performers and showtimes, go to the cyberstage.