It’s a brave new world for the Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show grounds, which has the capacity for a crowd of 15,000.
From Aug. 24 to 26, country music fans will be gathering for Citadel Country Spirit USA, a new weekend-long festival of established hit-makers, like Alabama, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley and Trace Adkins, and singers whose songs you’ve probably heard, like Jake Owen, Dustin Lynch and “The Voice” alum Cassadee Pope. In all, there will more than 20 country music artists featured on two stages. The regional talent winners of the Citadel Rising Star Contest — Derek Crider; Brian McConnell, of West Chester; and Stephanie Grace, of Douglassville — will perform on the Citadel Rising Star Stage between main stage acts.
Citadel Country Spirit USA comes to Chester County from Impact Entertainment, the producer of Country Summer, a festival that’s been held each of the last five years in Santa Rosa, Calif., a suburb of San Francisco. Drawing from that successful formula, the festival experience will include an array of activities, 17 different food vendors and libations curated by Spectrum Catering and Events (whose clients include Cirque du Soleil and the Professional Golfers Association), ranging from craft brews by Sierra Nevada to wines at the Barefoot Wine Garden and spirits at the Jose Cuervo Saloon.
Alan Jacoby, the executive producer of Impact Entertainment, said it was the Chester County Conference and Visitors Bureau that reached out to him in late 2015 about hosting what he called a “weekend-long music, food, beverage and shopping experience,” and that they even came up with a list of 60 different possible sites.
“The sponsors will have activities at their booths, and we’re bringing in a mechanical bull,” Jacoby said. “The site’s gonna look nice ... a nice country festival site. We’re looking forward to a great American musical extravaganza.”
A portion of ticket sales will be donated to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Main stage at a glance
Aug. 24: 3:45 p.m. Cassadee Pope, 5:30 p.m. Brett Young, 7:15 p.m. Dustin Lynch, 9:15 p.m. Alabama.
Aug. 25: 2 p.m. Jimmie Allen, 3:45 p.m. High Valley, 5:30 p.m. Tyler Farr, 7:15 p.m. Trace Adkins, 9:15 p.m. Toby Keith.
Aug. 26: 2 p.m. Danielle Bradbery, 3:45 p.m. Michael Ray, 5:30 p.m. Jake Owen, 7:30 p.m. Brad Paisley.
Going to be there more than one day? Take a look at www.brandywinevalley.com/country.
What not to bring
Because this is a new event, you should know that the following are prohibited at Citadel Country Spirit USA: Pets, with the exception of service dogs; video cameras; audio equipment; still photography cameras that utilize detachable lenses; artificial noisemakers or laser pointers; glass bottles or metal cans/containers; knives; guns; mace; any item determined to be a weapon by security; alcoholic beverages (none allowed through gate; beverages are available for purchase on the grounds); drugs; squirt guns or balloons (through the gate); bicycles; skateboards; scooters; ice chests or food purchased from restaurants outside the fairgrounds; backpacks or bags larger than 12x6x12; tents; and umbrellas.
Lawn chairs will only be permitted in the general admission area; no blankets or reclining lounge chairs.
Strollers will not be permitted in the aisles, within the seat rows or directly next to the end of the rows, but can be parked in a designated area located behind the chairs within the reserved seating area. You will be able to access the stroller as needed, but it is recommended that you keep all valuables with you.