With so many new country festivals in Florida, how does the Strawberry Festival keep booking top talent?
The Florida Strawberry Festival which kicks off its 81st year of shortcake and country music Thursday in Plant City, with a concert lineup that includes the Band Perry (above), Cole Swindell and Trace Adkins.
But after decades at the top of Florida's country-music food chain, the Strawberry Festival has started seeing increased competition to keep booking top artists. A slew of splashy new festivals have popped up around the Sunshine State, packing dozens of A-list acts into a single weekend.
This month, the Runaway Country Festival brings stars like Kenny Chesney and Eric Church to Kissimmee. In April, the Tortuga Music Festival returns to Fort Lauderdale with Tim McGraw and Blake Shelton. And in May, the inaugural Country 500, with Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean, hits Daytona International Speedway.
These festivals have "drastically" affected how the Strawberry Festival books its lineup, said general manager Paul Davis.
"There's so much competition for the popular acts," Davis said.
For our full story on how the Strawberry Festival has evolved with the times -- including this year's country concert lineup and more -- click here.