Hot Chelle Rae to kick off Busch Gardens' first 'Saturday Summer Nights' concert series
We're just a few months removed from the whole Blackfish controversy, and Busch Gardens is already jumping back into the concert game.
Pop-rock outfit Hot Chelle Rae (Tonight Tonight, I Like It Like That) will kick off the theme park's "Saturday Summer Nights" concert series, a new addition to its already popular Summer Nights, which feature extended hours, fireworks, the acrobatic stage show Kinetix and more.
The concerts will take place at 8:30 p.m. Saturday nights from June 28 to Aug. 17 in Gwazi Park, which will be lined with barbecue and craft beer stations. Hot Chelle Rae is the only act announced so far, but the park promises "more pop, R&B, alternative and Latino music artists" throughout the summer. The concerts, like the rest of Summer Nights, are included with park admission.
The event sounds a bit like Busch Gardens' spring Bands, Brew & BBQ series, which this year took a slight ding due to controversy surrounding the SeaWorld-bashing documentary Blackfish. The film, and the harsh online buzz that followed it, led several artists to back out of SeaWorld's Bands, Brew & BBQ series -- an effect that spilled over to its sister park, as Pat Benatar and the Beach Boys canceled their Busch Gardens shows, too. The Blackfish controversy mostly died down within weeks, though, and both Busch Gardens and SeaWorld kept booking big-name acts.
We'll have to wait and see if the Blackfish buzz stirs up once again with Saturday Summer Nights.
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*