Three-day concert series takes place in MC’s backyard

(Photo by Pistol Creek Catch of the Day)
Pistol Creek Catch of the Day performs Sunday at 2:30.

The twelfth annual Foothills Fall Festival is returning to Maryville from Oct. 12-14 , featuring headliners Train, Darius Rucker and Gary Allen. The Foothills Fall Festival is the closest three-day concert series one can experience from Maryville College.

Held in the outdoor theater behind the Blount county courthouse, the concert series can be heard from basically anywhere on campus. The festival presents a variety of music, including pop, Bluegrass and southern rock music. On Friday, the gates will open at 5 p.m. Steve Rutledge will start off the night at 6 p.m., followed by Jerrod Niemann and Gary Allan.

Gates will open at noon on Saturday with Jesse Gregory at 12:45 p.m., and then the Jeff Jopling Band, Kudzu and Lauren Alaina will perform. Andy Grammer will open the more popular shows at 7 p.m., and Train will finish off the night beginning at 8:30 p.m.

On Sunday, the gates open at 2 p.m. Pistol Creek Catch of the Day, which features MC’s professor of art education, Dr. Carl Gombert, will begin at 2:30 p.m., followed by Brad Blackwell and The Farm. The evening concerts will include Thompson Square at 6:15 p.m. and Darius Rucker, former Hootie and the Blowfish lead singer, at 8 p.m.

There are four ways one can go about viewing the 15 total concerts that span from Friday to Sunday night. The first and cheapest choice is for those who do not care if they can visually see the actual performers. Because MC is so close to the sound system of the stage, attendees can put a blanket down or bring a chair behind Carnegie Hall, and simply listen to the music from the college campus. For those that are over 21, the decks at the local bars are also a great option for those who are content to listen.

Attendants hoping for the full concert experience can purchase festival tickets at KnoxvilleTickets.com; however, the general admission tickets provide the best value, granting ticketholders access to all of the concerts for $60.

General admission tickets require bringing a personal lawn chair, and there is no assigned seating, so attendants hoping to get close to the stage are advised to arrive early. Gold and silver reserved seating tickets are available to those who want to ensure a seat close to the stage; these tickets offer early admission into the festival and do not require a personal chair.

Gold tickets, which are the first 15 rows of the outdoor theater, range from $50 on Friday night, $100 all day Saturday and $60 on Sunday. Choosing this option for all three days is $210. The cheaper silver package is available for $175 for all three nights. With this package, rows 16-32 are available, and ticketholders still have the same benefits of not providing chairs or having to wait in line. The final option for enjoying the music of the festival is through volunteering.

According to the Foothills Fall Festival’s website, the festival logs approximately 800 volunteer hours over the three days. Volunteer spots do fill up quickly, so those interested are encouraged to sign up soon.

The concert series is the highlight of the festival, although local venders and stages set up in downtown Maryville to host local artists for free.However, everyone should take advantage of the rare event of having acclaimed artists, like Train, just down the road from MC.

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