With 264 residents spread over six square miles, Sparta — a former railroad stop that sits 45 minutes south of Cincinnati — is one Kentucky’s smallest cities. Come August 28th, though, the local population will swell to more than 30,000, thanks to a new three-day music festival co-headlined by Miranda Lambert, Hank Williams Jr., Brantley Gilbert and other country heavyweights.
Announced this morning, the NiFi Festival is the first in a series of national fests launched by Nitro Fidelity, a California-based entertainment group, and Speedway Motorsports, Inc., the auto racing corporation that owns eight of America’s most popular speedways. Working together, the two companies plan to host top-tier festivals at more than half of Speedway’s racing tracks over the next decade, including an event at the Texas Motor Speedway in 2016 and, if all goes according to plan, a Sonoma Speedway festival that could rival California-area events like Coachella and Outside Lands.
The inaugural NiFi Fest, which kicks off August 28th at the Kentucky Speedway and runs through the 30th, will model itself after camping festivals like the upcoming Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tennessee. Top Chef contestant Edward Lee is heading up the food operations, and Huka Entertainment’s A.J. Nyland — who helped launch festivals like Hangout and Tortuga — is booking the entertainment. On the lineup are a handful of A-list rock bands, including Green Day and Kings of Leon, as well as some of country music’s biggest acts: Lambert, Gilbert, Williams, Jake Owen, Trace Adkins, Joe Nichols, Josh Turner, Jana Kramer, Nikki Lane and others. Early bird tickets start at $245, with VIP passes and deluxe camping packages — or “glamping,” as NiFi Fest’s website calls it — driving up the price for well-heeled attendees.
Tickets go on sale Thursday morning at 10 a.m. ET.