Country superstars Keith Urban, Eric Church, and Jason Aldean have been announced as this year’s headliners for Watershed. The three-day festival has now been expanded into two back-to-back weekends due to popular demand after the festival sold out in minutes in previous years.
Watershed has been popular among country music fans or “Shedders” since its inception in 2011 and has had numerous top country superstars perform, including Carrie Underwood, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, and Florida-Georgia Line just to name a few. The festival has sold out each year with people from all over the nation making the trek to The Gorge.
According to the official press release,
“Heralded by Country Weekly, Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone as a ‘must-see’ summer festival, attendees will also be able to enjoy the breathtaking and unrivaled setting of the watershed for the Columbia River, the unique backdrop from which the festival drew its name.”
Watershed was the first LiveNation country music festival. Due to its popularity, it spawned off four more country music festivals including Faster Horses in Brooklyn, MI; Route 91 Harvest in Las Vegas, NV; Windy City LakeShake in Chicago, IL; and FarmBorough in New York, NY. Other festivals such as Stagecoach, which is put on by the same promoters who produce Coachella, have been popular as well.
The official press release also stated,
“‘The ‘Shedders and my team know how special Watershed is to me and I can’t believe we’re coming back in only our fifth year for two weekends,’ said Brian O’Connell, President of Live Nation Country Touring. ‘I’m so excited to see first-timers like Jason, Keith and Eric’s reaction when they arrive at The Gorge, as the view is just out of this world, and all the artists and fans getting to experience the truly unique vibe of this festival.'”
This is the first time the festival has spawned off into two separate weeks. Recently, LiveNation tried this experiment with their premier music festival Sasquatch! in 2014, with two completely different lineups happening on Memorial Day and the fourth of July weekends. Due to low ticket sales, the fourth of July part of the festival was cancelled. However, the lineups for Watershed will stay the same with the three headliners playing both weekends.
According to Rolling Stone,
“Watershed is earning a reputation befitting of its name, as this year marks the first time a country-music festival has been held over two consecutive weekends… This will be the first time that Church, Aldean and Urban will perform at the Gorge, in front of fans who refer to themselves as ‘Shedders.'”
The initial lineup is as follows:
- Jason Aldean
- Keith Urban
- Eric Church
- Merle Haggard
- Kasey Musgraves
- Brett Eldridge
- David Nail
- Brothers Osborne
- Neil McCoy
- Maren Morris
- John Pardi
- Travis Tritt
- Tyler Farr
- A Thousand Horses
Though Travis Tritt is listed in the official lineup, the official Watershed website only has him listed for the second weekend. The rest of the lineup including artists that will play on the second stage will be announced at a later date, once LiveNation has that set in stone. The second stage, known as the “Next from Nashville” stage, will mainly feature up-and-coming artists, as well as locals throughout the the Pacific Northwest. In past years this included such acts as The Voice alum Austin Jenckes and Seattle roots rock band Cody Beebe and The Crooks.
Tickets as well as three-day passes went on sale January 29.
[Header photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images]