The inaugural Country 500 was an experience to remember as racing’s most iconic venue was transformed into a festival-goer’s dream. There was something for everyone as country music pioneers Willie Nelson and Dwight Yoakam offered over 80 years of music experience while Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Kid Rock, Lady Antebellum and more all brought their unique sound to DAYTONA. In addition to the great music, DAYTONA’s infield was filled with all sorts of activities for guests including a beach house fun area, the “carcade”, a Ferris Wheel, Toyota’s Ride and Drive Experience anda crafts marketplace.
Day 1 - Friday, May 27
Kristian Bush kicked off the Country 500 festivities with a 2pm performance on the Country 500 stage. Clare Dunn rocked the Bluebird Theater covering Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ “Won’t Back Down” and met with fans after her show, signing copies of her new EP.
Colt Ford kicked off the first of his two Country 500 appearances, as he returned for another set on Sunday. Jason Aldean closed out the first night of the inaugural Country 500 by opening with fan-favorite hit “1994”.
Free artists meet and greets on day one included Frankie Ballard, Tyler Farr, Colt Ford, Eric Paslay, Kristian Bush and Clare Dunn!
Fans amped up their Country 500 adventure at Toyota’s Off-Road Thrill Ride and enjoyed great views from the highest seat in the house atop the festival’s Ferris Wheel.
Day 2 - Saturday, May 28
Brooke Eden got things started in the Bluebird Theater, shortly followed by Cassadee Pope. Chris Stapleton continued his breakout year when he hit Country 500 stage as sunset hit the Speedway.
Kid Rock certainly lived up to his name as he brought down the house with an energy-packed performance, while the legendary Willie Nelson was playing a set filled with some of his greatest hits in the Bluebird Theater.
Florida Georgia Line celebrated their homecoming and return to Daytona International Speedway by taking fans to “church on a Saturday night” with stirring renditions of “Dirt” and “H.O.L.Y.” serving as a memorable end to day two.
Free artists meet and greets on day two included Joe Diffie, Raelynn, Cadillac Three, Cassadee Pope, and Brooke Eden! Fans that stopped by the DAYTONA Rewards tent got to take a photo with the Country 500 backdrop and registered to win instant prizes!
Day 3 - Sunday, May 29
The stars of Country 500 continued to come out for the final day of the Country 500, with performances from Jennifer Nettles, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town and Luke Bryan.
Lady Antebellum played several hits, including “Need You Now” and “Just A Kiss,” while Little Big Town wowed fans with “Girl Crush” and “Pontoon”. Later in the night, they teamed with Luke Bryan to cover Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud”.
After Bryan told fans, “It’s party time in Daytona,” he closed out the Country 500 stage with an upbeat, energetic performance that featured songs “That’s My Kind of Night” and “I Don’t Want This Night To End”, before he brought a young couple on-stage to help with a one-of-a-kind engagement.
Free artists meet and greets on day two included Colt Ford, Craig Campbell, Jerrod Niemann, Parmalee, Brothers Osborne, Randy Rogers Band and Brandy Clark! Adventure Awaits Guided by Toyota allowed fans to compete for prizes at and take advantage of fun photo ops, while the Bud and Burgers trailer served up cold Budweiser and all-American burgers to fans all weekend long.
What was your favorite part about the 2016 Country 500? Let us know in the comment box below.