After a one-year absence that was planned before the coronavirus pandemic, We Fest, Minnesota's oldest and biggest country-music festival, will return in August with headliners Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley and Blake Shelton.
Staged at Soo Pass Ranch in Detroit Lakes for 37 years, We Fest came under new ownership in fall 2019. Citing a need for time to plan, new owners Live Nation immediately called off We Fest for 2020, eyeing a return this year.
All three of the 2021 headliners have appeared at We Fest previously, most recently Florida Georgia Line in 2018. Other acts for the Aug. 5-7 country-and-camping hoedown will be announced later.
Florida Georgia Line, known for the crossover hits "Cruise" and "Meant to Be," will release their fifth album, "Life Rolls On," on Feb. 12. Shelton, a popular coach on NBC's "The Voice," just scored another smash hit, "Happy Anywhere," a duet with fiancée Gwen Stefani. Bentley, who has tallied 17 No. 1 country tunes, is expected to release his 10th studio album in 2021.
Live Nation's partner in We Fest is Twin Cities promoter Matt Mithun, whose father, Ray Mithun Jr., previously owned the 400-acre Soo Pass Ranch and partnered with longtime Minneapolis promoter Randy Levy. In 2014, Levy's group sold We Fest for $21.5 million to national radio and festival company Townsquare Media. Five years later, Live Nation, the world's largest concert promoter, paid about half that price for We Fest.
While the Detroit Lakes event is the oldest country fest in the Upper Midwest, it's far from the only one. Among the others are Winstock in Winsted, Minn. (June 18-19 with Luke Combs and Darius Rucker); Country Fest in Cadott, Wis. (June 16-19 with Thomas Rhett, Dierks Bentley and Kane Brown); Country Jam in Eau Claire, Wis. (July 15-17 with Morgan Wallen, Chris Young and Jon Pardi); and Twin Cities Summer Jam (July 22-24 with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Carrie Underwood and Zac Brown Band).
Tickets for We Fest 2021 will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at wefest.com. Prices for general admission start at $89, VIP tickets start at $925. Camping and parking fees vary, as well.
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