The Under the Big Sky Festival in Whitefish announced its lineup for July 18-19, 2020, on Friday.
The two-day shindig focused on Americana, country, roots and rock has booked a list of big artists who could all be considered the headliner depending on your preferences: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, EmmyLou Harris, the Head and the Heart, Shovels and Rope, Billy Strings, and Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real, Jade Bird, and more, according to the news release. They've also booked a number of local bands, including Missoula's Lil Smokies.
The festival was started last year by Outriders Present and thrown on the 350-acre Big Mountain Ranch located about a mile from Whitefish. The owner, Johnny Shockey, has concert industry experience, and wanted to bring a large-scale event to the area, a company representative told the Missoulian earlier this year.
The first fest drew 30,000 people over two days, according to the release, no doubt drawn in part by the proximity to Glacier National Park during peak tourism season.
Last year, attendees had to fend for themselves for hotels or camp sites, as there were none offered at the ranch. This year, organizers will provide a camping option located 2 miles from the ranch with shuttle and bike valet service. The exact site hasn't been announced yet.
Many of the artists have come through the Missoula area recently. Isbell, who's played at KettleHouse Amphitheater outside Missoula twice, has won Grammys since he he left Drive-by Truckers and established a solo career.
Country legend Emmylou Harris last played a Wilma gig in 2016.
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Tyler Childers, an emerging country singer-songwriter whose last record was produced by Sturgill Simpson, is playing a gig with him at the Adams Center in the spring.
The Head and the Heart, the indie-rock representation on the bill, performed at Big Sky Brewing Company Amphitheater in 2018.
Lukas Nelson, the son of Willie Nelson, worked on the "A Star is Born" soundtrack and played the Adams Center in 2015.
Billy Strings, a guitar virtuoso who brings headbanging rock energy to bluegrass, played the River City Roots Festival in 2018 and the Silver Cloud Campout in 2019.
The rest of the pack include Colter Wall, the Brothers Comatose, Whitney Rose, Mipso, Paul Cauthen, Charley Crokett, the White Buffalo, Lilly Hiatt, Jade Jackson, Archertown and the Hogslop String Band.
The local artists on the bill include Lil Smokies, who have a new record, "Tornillo," coming out in January; Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs of Bozeman; Whitefish funk band 20 Grand and solo act Nick Spear, and more.
For more information, head to underthebigksyfest.com.