Photo courtesy Live Nation
The 2015 Faster Horses Festival was a great success according to Michigan International Speedway, host of this year’s country music festival. The festival sold out again this year, entertaining 40,000 country music fans and campers during the three-day outdoor celebration. The track, known mostly for the two Nascar race weekends in June and August, has been adding other events as they have improved the property over the past few years. In addition to Faster Horses, the track hosts the Michigan Wine and Beer Fest each May, “Keloorah” Music Festival during the race weekends, The Tough Mudder competition and the state Cross Country Championships in the fall. New this year is the Big Mitten state fair over Labor Day weekend.
Track President Roger Curtis told Crain’s Detroit Business that the success of these events is prompting the consideration of even bigger music festivals, along the lines of Lollapalooza, Coachella or Bonnaroo. Live Nation, the promoter of Faster Horses and many other concert events is reportedly also considering MIS for something bigger.
The economic impact to the greater Jackson area is greater with Faster Horses than with a Nascar weekend. Curtis told Crain’s Detroit Business that concertgoers “ pack nothing, so they go out and buy everything. Underwear and phone chargers. They don’t cook, either. They’re not grilling out. They head to town for breakfast and lunch. From Jackson to Ann Arbor to Adrian, the restaurants are packed.”
MIS is attractive to Live Nation and other event organizers because of the state of the art facilities and the amount of space available. A key benefit, not available at other major festivals, is the number of campsites. Currently there are more than 8,500 campsites available on the property.
Both MIS and Live Nation indicated to Crain’s they both want a second event at the track. This year’s Faster Horses Festival featured major stars Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Dwight Yoakam, Florida Georgia Line and more than 35 other acts on two stages. Planning for next year’s event is already underway.