For country music fans, the top picks of New Year’s Eve entertainment will be taking place in Nashville and Austin — two cities where country reigns, of course — and also in New York City.
In Music City, the seventh annual Jack Daniel’s Bash on Broadway is expected to draw an estimated 150,000 people to Lower Broadway in downtown Nashville for a free concert headlined by Kings of Leon, along with Chris Stapleton, Kelsea Ballerini and country newcomers LANco, among others. A 15-foot-tall red Music Note Drop will descend from a 145-foot structure to signal the arrival of 2016. Should anyone overlook the magic moment, it will also trigger a fireworks display and confetti cannons.
Elsewhere in Nashville, Old Crow Medicine Show will ring in the New Year at the Ryman Auditorium. The show has been sold out for months, but WSM-AM/Nashville will be broadcasting the concert and streaming it live beginning at 10:30 p.m. CT at WSMonline.com.
Also in Twang Town, Marty Stuart and his band, the Fabulous Superlatives, will be rocking the house at City Winery. Local favorite Chris Knight is at the Exit/In, and the Grascals will be sharing their music at Nashville’s bluegrass mecca — the Station Inn. Fans of the Nashville TV series may gravitate to the famed Bluebird Café for a writers-in-the-round session with Thom Schuyler, Fred Knobloch, Tony Arata and Jelly Roll Johnson
In Texas, Willie Nelson has enlisted Kacey Musgraves to join him for his annual show at Austin City Limits Live at Moody Theater. Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real will set the mood for the celebration. The concert will air live on Sirius XM satellite radio’s Willie’s Roadhouse channel.
In New York City, the annual Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest special will include performances by Carrie Underwood and Luke Bryan, along with Jimmy Buffett’s promise to perform “Margaritaville” from the concert he’s playing with Huey Lewis and the News.
Looks like Bryan is already in New York and has caught up with Seacrest’s co-host Jenny McCarthy.
On NBC, New Year’s Eve With Carson Daly Live doesn’t include any country performers, per se, although it will include an appearance by Gwen Stefani, and most of America is aware she’s dating Blake Shelton, her cohort on The Voice.
Although this is by no means a comprehensive list of all New Year’s Eve events, here’s a quick overview of other country artists who will be working the late shift:
Little Big Town/Holly Williams: Mohegan Sun Arena (Uncasville, Connecticut)
Chris Janson/The Swon Brothers: Grand Casino Mille Lacs Event Center (Onamia, Minnesota)
Colt Ford: Wild Bill’s (Duluth, Georgia)
Kid Rock: KFC Yum Center (Louisville, Kentucky)
Avett Brothers: Greensboro Coliseum (Greensboro, North Carolina)
Randy Rogers Band: Cain’s Ballroom (Tulsa, Oklahoma)
LoCash: 8 Seconds Saloon (Indianapolis)
Greensky Bluegrass: Royal Oak Theatre (Royal Oak, Michigan)
Shinyribs: Gruene Hall (New Braunfels, Texas)
Pokey LaFarge: The Pageant (St. Louis)
The Infamous Stringdusters: Rams Head Live (Baltimore)
Cory Morrow: House of Blues (Dallas)
Wade Bowen: John T. Floore Country Store (Helotes, Texas)