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Bud Light is launching its inaugural Bud Light Backyard Tour summer concert series, featuring headliners OneRepublic, Midland, Dashboard Confessional and Bush. The four-city tour, for fans 21 and older, launches in Nashville on Aug. 10 with headliner OneRepublic and opening act Lindsay Ell.
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Country trio Midland will headline a concert in Oklahoma City, Okla., on Aug. 15; followed by Dashboard Confessional in St. Louis, Mo., on Aug. 17; and Bush on Aug. 29 in Charlottesville, Va. Dee Jay Silver will serve as the DJ for the dates in St. Louis, Oklahoma City and Charlottesville. Tyler Braden is also set as an opener on the concert series.
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According to Todd Allen, Bud Light’s vp of marketing, the yet-to-be announced venues will range in capacity from 1,000 to 3,000. Tickets are free, and fans can enter to win tickets at budlightbackyard.com.
“We really want to deliver an intimate vibe, and deliver that backyard experience where you’re hanging out with your friends, your family, listening to your favorite artists. So we want try to bring these artists closer to fans through these shows,” Allen tells Billboard.
Allen also notes Bud Light’s history in the music space, referencing the brand’s previous Bud Light Dive Bar tours with artists including Post Malone in 2019, and Bud Light Sessions over the years with artists such as Brad Paisley, Jason DeRulo, Jack Harlow and Teddy Swims.
The tour news comes as Bud Light’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, has seen sales decline following backlash against the Bud Light brand after transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney posted a video to Instagram on April 1 showing a customized, commemorative Bud Light can featuring Mulvaney’s face sent to her by the company. Artists including Kid Rock, John Rich and Ted Nugent then called for a boycott of the brand or pledged to stop stocking it at their bars and backstage. As a result of the boycott, Bud Light fell from its position as the top-selling beer in America in June.
With the upcoming summer shows featuring performances from country music artists including Midland, Ell and Braden, Allen tells Billboard of Bud Light’s relationship with the country music audience, “First and foremost, we care deeply about all of our customers. I’ve been across this country, visiting with consumers, visiting with our wholesalers, visiting with partners. Consistently, the No. 1 thing people tell me about is the love and passion they have for this brand, and that what they want and expect from Bud Light is to get back to what we do best, and that’s being the beer of easy enjoyment, and that means bringing family and friends together over live music.
“That’s why we’re getting back to what we’re doing with the Bud Light Backyard Tour,” Allen adds, “and we’re going to do that with our country music fans, the same thing we’ve been doing for the past 40 years.”
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Billboard reached out to teams for Midland and Ell for additional comments regarding the upcoming shows and the controversy that has surrounded the Bud Light brand. In a statement to Billboard, Ell said, “As an artist who always wants to use my voice for good, I have spent the past few years learning as much as I can about marginalized communities and how we, as humans, can work together to lift each other up. When deciding who to work with or what brands to partner with, I tend to lean into partnerships that encourage larger conversations surrounding the power of considering humanity before all else, including gender or race. Because of that, I recognize that we, as a nation, are in a phase of learning and that we’re inevitably not going to get it right every time. But I also know that doesn’t mean we should stop trying to teach ourselves how to love others better.”
Midland said via a press release, “Summer, country music, beer, and good times. Why wouldn’t we be there?”
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