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October 9, 2012

‘Great venue, perfect city’: Sara Evans eyeing Cullman for music fest (WITH VIDEOS)

CULLMAN — County music star Sara Evans and her husband Jay Barker have been scouring north Alabama for the perfect place to host their own country music festival. According to Barker, who spoke glowingly of Cullman at a private concert Tuesday night, they think they’ve found it.

Starting next year, the city looks to be the home of Evans’ new music festival.

“Cullman is the perfect venue and we think we can really make this thing work,” Barker said. “You have Huntsville and Nashville nearby and we think we can make a great north Alabama event, and be able to help raise money for charities ... This is a great venue, the perfect city, and we believe the people have the kind of hearts to really get behind this and make it work.”

The potential two-day weekend event, which is set to take place each June, would likely be hosted at Heritage Park in Cullman — which has a maximum capacity of up-to 30,000.

“We pray that [space] is an issue,” Barker joked. “We’ve talked about wanting to grow this over time and we would never want to pull out of Cullman, because they have been so good to help us get started. If we needed more room I’m sure the city would work with us, and if we couldn’t figure something out, this would be the best 30,000-person festival in the South.”

The event would mostly feature country music acts, though Barker noted it could also serve as a showcase for Alabama bands in similiar genres.

“You could also look at local acts that have done well, like Taylor Hicks with American Idol,” he noted. “There are so many great acts from Alabama. This could really be a cool event.”

Evans said Cullman’s location — just two hours south of Nashville — makes it the perfect destination to draw in talented country musicians as they make the rounds on national and regional tours.

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