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March 24, 2019

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Route 91 uses more than one route to appeal to masses; Phish talk abounds

2015 Route 91 Harvest: Day 2

L.E. Baskow

Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum perform for the crowd on the Main Stage during the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Fest on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, at Las Vegas Village.

2015 Route 91 Harvest: Day 2

Keith Urban headlines the Main Stage during the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Fest on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, at Las Vegas Village. Launch slideshow »
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Nick Jamerson of Sundy Best sings at the Next From Nashville Stage during the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Fest on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, at Las Vegas Village.

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Gary Allan entertains fans on the Main Stage during the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Fest on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, at Las Vegas Village.

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Dusk settles in during the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Fest on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, at Las Vegas Village.

The Kats Report Bureau at this writing is once more Route 91 Harvest Country Music Fest at Las Vegas Village. Huge operation. As Hilary Rodham Clinton once said, it takes, like, an entire community … a township … a village, if you will, to grow something this important to complete health.

Earlier we were discussing the future of this event, 102.7 The Country radio personality Rick Kelly and me. It’s likely headed for the Las Vegas Resort Festival Grounds for 2016. The idea we had was to turn the Village into the auxiliary stage for Festival Grounds and ship the crowd of 25,000 or so back and forth up the Strip.

At the Village on the south end of the Strip, you could catch, say, Jason Aldean at the Village. Then you would be hauled north for, say, some Blake Shelton action.

I see absolutely no logistical concerns with this concept.

Onward:

• Some reliable yet unconfirmed word around the scene is that Phish has been in talks to appear at a festival in Las Vegas in 2016. This would be an outdoor festival, and know that Rock in Rio is not performing on the Strip in 2016. So start working that one out …

• Friday night’s show-closing performances by Thomas Rhett and Florida Georgia Line further cemented the wide range of music performed at this festival. Rhett actually performed a cover of “Uptown Funk” that had many in the crowd two-stepping (or two-staggering, given the alcohol consumption out here).

FGL, the duo of Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard, is similarly dexterous. The frequent presenters and winners from the Academy of Country Music Awards (among others) at MGM Grand have blown up in just about three years, from when they were the type of rising act you’d catch at the peripheral Next From Nashville stage. In a medley of songs they profess to have grown up with (and who’s to argue?), they sampled “Forgot About Dre” by Dr. Dre, “We Dem Boyz” by Wiz Kalifa and “This Is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan.

Dee Jay Silver’s between-sets music, important to the experience as the time lapse between acts is set at 50 minutes, has featured the likes of Aerosmith and AC/DC. If Mr. Silver comes forth with “2112” by Rush, by God, I will rush the stage.

• Quick math on attendance: This year’s event is drawing about 25,000 fans per show, but it’s not accurate to say 75,000 people are taking part in the festival. Same as last year: Most are holding one wristband covering multiple days and nights. And most fans are from out of the area.

Rhett performed an unscientific but likely on-target polling of the crowd, asking, “Who here lives in Las Vegas?” followed by, “Who doesn’t live in Las Vegas?” The clear majority, maybe three-quarters, were visitors. They all need rooms, too, which is why officials here are promoting the event as a civic happening and not just an MGM Resorts production.

• Crazy moment from Friday night, as streamers were blasted from cannons at the front of the stage near the end of the FGL performance. The colorful cluster of paper was instantly caught by the wind blowing from the west and soared into the apartment complex directly to the east of the Village parcel. Those apartments were the source of noise complaints during last year’s event.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Twitter.com/JohnnyKats. Also, follow “Kats With the Dish” at Twitter.com/KatsWiththeDish.

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