Buckeye Chesney Superfest returning to Ohio Chesnium

Andy Downing
Kenny Chesney

Buckeye Country Superfest returns in June 2020, headlined by (you guessed it) Kenny Chesney.

Chesney is no stranger to Superfest, having headlined the inaugural edition in 2015 and then again in 2017.

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While recycling programs are struggling nationwide, there are no such issues with Superfest. Chesney, the singer behind the convenience-store-policy-flaunting "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problems," is joined for this go-round by fellow headliner and veterans of the 2016 Superfest lineup, Florida Georgia Line.

Filling out the undercard are Kane Brown, Brett Young, Tyler Rich and Gabby Barrett, the day's only female performer, which is yet another Superfest tradition.

From our 2015 review of the concert:

Countryfest, which, according to organizers, attracted 90,000 attendees in its two-day run, had the misfortune of flaunting an almost all-male lineup (Cassadee Pope, the lone female on the bill, performed a short opening set on Saturday) in the midst of a raging debate about the limited spotlight given over to women performers in country music. Keith Hill, a country radio consultant, ignited the controversy several weeks back with his comments in Country Aircheck Weekly, a trade newsletter and website. “If you want to make ratings in country radio, take females out,” he said. “Trust me, I play great female records and we’ve got some right now; they’re just not the lettuce in our salad. The tomatoes of our salad are the females.”

And 2017:

Superfest attendees likely experienced a similar been-there, done-that sensation this past weekend, with organizers having recycled a pair of year-one headliners for 2017: The aforementioned Urban, who headlined alongside the Zac Brown Band on Saturday, and Kenny Chesney, who closed out Sunday’s festivities following a short, stellar set from Miranda Lambert.

As in past years, the scarcity of female performers was jarring — Jana Kramer joined Lambert as the only women on the lineup — though the trend is more indicative of country radio’s lingering boy’s-club mentality, which generated some controversy in 2015 (Google “Tomatoegate”) but not a whole lot in the way of change.

The homogeneous, cookie-cutter nature of mainstream country radio revealed itself on occasion at Ohio Stadium on Sunday, with musicians exploring variations on the same themes. Michigan-born, Nashville-based singer/guitarist Frankie Ballard introduced “It All Started With a Beer” by asking the crowd, “Anybody out there drinking beer?” Roughly an hour later, Billy Currington, a sad-eyed, Georgia-born singer, parroted the line. “Where’s all the beer drinkers tonight?” he asked before plowing into “Pretty Good at Drinkin’ Beer,” a song that explores the racial tensions driving the ... JUST KIDDING.

Tickets for the concert go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Octchesney 4.