Garth Brooks has announced that he will perform a free concert for the city of Austin, TX on Saturday, March 17th at SXSW Outdoor Stage at Lady Bird Lake. The concert is presented by Amazon Music. The announcement was made during a Friday morning press conference at South By Southwest (SXSW), the annual music and film festival.
Gates will open at 11 am with music all day long. Sunny Sweeney will perform at 6:45 pm with Brooks taking the stage at 8 pm. The free tickets will be offered beginning at noon CDT on Friday to Austin residents and surrounding areas based on credit card billing addresses. SXSW Registrants and Music Festival wristband holders can also attend, with a special allocation of space made available via Primary and Secondary access. No ticket is required with a badge or wristband.
“They’ve kinda kept all of this secret from me,” Brooks says of the secret show. “I know something’s going to go on tonight that’s not planned, that’s all I know.”
Brooks was first announced as a keynote speaker for Friday afternoon, but speculation that he may headline the free Saturday night show began to circulate late Wednesday (March 15th) when the organization informed the media that Brooks would be holding a press conference hours earlier.
The news comes as Brooks releases “Ask Me How I Know,” the second single from Gunslinger. The single was released Friday (March 17th) with an impact date of March 27th.
During the press conference, Brooks also addressed new ideas with his Amazon Music partnership that could include demo versions of his older catalog in different packages. He says the amount of content could match last year’s The Ultimate Collection box set through Target.
“We do not leave a song behind, we just don’t,” Brooks tells reporters. “One of the things we’re talking about with [Amazon], is you have to understand, we also have the guitar demo to every one of those singles, either by the songwriter or by myself and you hear how the lyrics change. You get to see ‘Papa Loved Mama’ going from a song about a train to a song about a truck. It’s pretty cool, all of these different shifts.”
No release date or other details were revealed.