Florida Georgia Line ready for Asheville
That was in 2011, when they were on a country bill at the Orange Peel that included Chase Rice and Brian Davis. “It was a long time ago,” said Tyler Hubbard, the Georgia half of the duo (the Florida half is his musical partner Brian Kelley). They returned in 2012 for a show at UNCA headlined by Colt Ford.
This weekend, they’re storming into Asheville for what will likely be the biggest-attended ticketed concert ever held here. Up to 12,500 fans are expected for their June 22 show at McCormick Field baseball park, which normally seats about 4,000. Most fans will be on the field, which will be covered with a hard plastic surface to protect the grass.
Now, Hubbard and Kelley are touring minor league ballparks, and that has them excited. The Asheville date will also feature the St. Louis rapper and hip-hop star Nelly, whose hits include “Hot in Herre” and “Country Grammar.”
“We are big baseball fans, and played through college,” said Hubbard. “There’s something about baseball and country music that go together. We thought it would be our best option rather than to play amphitheaters. It’s a different vibe you get when it’s all open, a different level.”
Florida Georgia Line connected with Nelly through his remix of their smash single “Cruise.” They’re both on the same label (Republic). “We jumped on the opportunity” to tour together, Hubbard said. “He puts time and energy into his live show.”
Hubbard and Kelley have been on tours that seem neverending, especially with the success of their album “Here’s to the Good Times,” which includes the hot singles “Cruise,” “Get Your Shine On,” “Round Here” and “Stay.” They all hit number one as singles, as did the album.
“We put in some years of groundwork back in the day before anyone knew us,” Hubbard said. “Once it took off with ‘Cruise,’ it was pretty fast. We knew that (“Cruise”) was special, but it’s hard to predict something like that.”
But they’re hoping that success repeats itself. “We are in the studio as we speak, working on album number two,” Hubbard said. Six or seven tunes have been done, and Hubbard said the album would be out in 2015.
IF YOU GO
Who: Florida Georgia Line with Nelly.
When: 7:30 p.m. June 22.
Where: McCormick Field baseball park, 30 Buchanan Place.
Tickets: $39.75 and service fees at the box office or www.ticketfly.com. Tickets may be picked up in advance at the box office at McCormick Field. A will-call window will open at 9 a.m. on concert day.
Parking and more
Gates open: 6 p.m. June 22.
Parking: It will be tight, so consider carpooling. Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry will operate private lots near the ballpark, fee is $10-$20 depending on location. Parking also available in the grass lot adjacent to the park, at the Aloft Hotel garage on Biltmore Avenue and the Buncombe County Health Department garage.
Closed: Buchanan Place, the street running from Biltmore Avenue to the park, will be closed except to residents of that neighborhood.
Don’t bring: outside food or drink, video or audio recording equipment, professional cameras, large bags, backpacks or camera bags, weapons or knives, incendiary devices, chairs, coolers or camelbacks seats, umbrellas, strollers, blankets, beach balls or inflatables, lasers or glow sticks or pets. Everyone entering is subject to being searched.