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Fun Fest concerts to feature The Avett Brothers, Pat Benatar, Casting Crowns

Holly Viers • Mar 25, 2018 at 12:15 AM

KINGSPORT — Fans of contemporary Christian and rock music will be pleased with this year’s Fun Fest Sunset Concert Series lineup, which features headliners Casting Crowns, The Avett Brothers and duo Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo.

Thursday night concert

Christian praise band Passion will open Thursday night’s contemporary Christian concert. The band is known for a multitude of chart-topping singles, including “How Great Is Our God,” “God Of This City,” “One Thing Remains,” “Even So Come” and “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord).”

Casting Crowns, a Christian rock band, will be the headliner of the Thursday night concert. The group — comprised of Mark Hall, Juan and Melodee DeVevo, Megan Garrett, Brian Scoggin, Josh Mix and Chris Huffman — are known for some of the most compelling Christian songs of this generation, including “Voice of Truth,” “East to West,” “Lifesong,” “Until the Whole World Hears,” “Courageous” and “Thrive.”

The contemporary Christian concert is sponsored by Carter-Trent Funeral Home, Tele-Optics Inc. and 88.3 WCQR.

Friday night concert

Rock duo Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo will headline the Friday night concert, sponsored by Appalachian Power, Domtar and WQUT.

Benatar and Giraldo have formed one of the most successful partnerships in music history. During their nearly four-decade career, they have won four consecutive Grammy Awards, as well as three American Music Awards.

The duo’s undeniable chemistry has created some of rock-’n’-roll’s most memorable hits, including “Promises in the Dark,” “Hell is For Children,” “We Live For Love,” “Love Is A Battlefield,” “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” and “We Belong.”

Saturday night concert

Fun Fest 2018 will conclude on Saturday with American folk rock band The Avett Brothers. The band combines bluegrass, country, punk, pop melodies, folk, rock-’n’-roll, indie rock, honky-tonk and ragtime to produce a unique sound.

The Avett Brothers’ latest album, “True Sadness,” achieved the group’s highest debut to date and dominated multiple charts. It was also nominated for Best Americana Album and Best American Roots Performance for “Ain’t No Man” at the 2017 Grammy Awards.

Eastman is the presenting sponsor for the Saturday night concert. The Eastman Fireworks Spectacular will follow The Avett Brothers at approximately 9:30 p.m.

Location and tickets

The Sunset Concert Series will take place at J. Fred Johnson Stadium. Additional sponsors include Eastman Credit Union and Visit Kingsport.

Friends of Festus reserved seating packages are priced from $50-$75 per seat. The package includes a reserved parking area close to the stadium and a $15 Fun Fest merchandise gift certificate when purchasing two or more seats.

VIP packages will go on sale on Wednesday at 10 a.m. You can purchase your package by visiting FunFest.net. A limited number of VIP seats are available.

Beginning Monday at 10 a.m., general admission tickets can be purchased online at FunFest.net. Single night tickets for Thursday and Friday will be $10 each and Saturday night tickets will be $20 each until April 1.

From April 2-July 12, Thursday and Friday ticket prices will increase to $15, and Saturday prices will remain $20. During the week of Fun Fest beginning July 13, ticket prices will increase to $20 and $25, respectively.

Tickets will be sold online only until June 22 at 9 a.m., at which time they can be purchased at the Fun Fest Store, located at 400 Clinchfield St., Suite 100.

What’s new this year?

Festivalgoers should note a few changes to this year’s concert series. First, Cintas’ Friends of Festus VIP packages can be purchased online only. This is designed to make the users’ experience easier when packages go on sale.

Another change to Fun Fest in 2018 is the addition of a clear bag policy for the stadium concerts. As events strive to provide increased safety to all participants and the community, more and more festivals and venues are moving to a policy for items allowed inside events.

This year, coolers are not allowed in the stadium, and all items will be subject to search. Clear bags should not exceed 12x6x12 inches, and approved bags will be available for purchase outside the stadium. The full clear bag policy is available at FunFest.net.

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