Tickets for 2017 event go on sale June 1

OUTLAW PARTNERS PBR COVERAGE
By Jessianne Wright EBS Contributor

BIG SKY – Beneath a late July sky, in the heart of southwestern Montana, some of the top professional bull riders in the world will rip out of the Big Sky PBR Arena chutes, Lone Mountain standing tall in the background. Big Sky Professional Bull Riders returns for its seventh year this July, complete with two days of bull riding, a golf tournament, the second annual Big Sky Art Auction and three nights of music.

Recently announced as a finalist for the 2017 Montana Tourism Event of the Year, Big Sky PBR brings together the roughest bulls in the business and some of the toughest riders in the world as a part of the national Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour.

“PBR is a highlight of the summer season in Big Sky and as the event has grown, it has become a measuring stick for continued growth and energy for all of Big Sky,” said Matt Kidd, a principal with CrossHarbor Capital Partners, at the close of last year’s event in an email to EBS.

2016 Big Sky PBR event attendees check out the SAV stage after the bull riding competition wrapped up. The Turnpike Troubadours will kick off the 2017 event with a July 27 performance on Town Center Stage, James McMurtry will play July 28 and Jamie McLean Band plays July 29, both on SAV stage near PBR Arena.

2016 Big Sky PBR event attendees check out the SAV stage after the bull riding competition wrapped up. The Turnpike Troubadours will kick off the 2017 event with a July 27 performance on Town Center Stage, James McMurtry will play July 28 and Jamie McLean Band plays July 29, both on SAV stage near PBR Arena.

In 2017, the event is growing again with the addition of the PBR Rider Relief Golf Tournament fundraiser on Wednesday, July 26, at Spanish Peaks Mountain Club. Returning from last year, the Big Sky Art Auction will be held July 27 under the big tent at PBR Arena. Following the auction, Turnpike Troubadours will take to Town Center Stage at the official PBR kickoff party during Thursday night’s Music in the Mountains.

On July 28 and 29, bull riders from around the world will each ride to compete in the final championship round on Saturday night, when the top 10 riders of the event will have eight seconds at a chance to win overall. Music will start on the SAV stage directly after the riding, with performances by James McMurtry on Friday and the Jamie McLean Band on Saturday.

Visitors can expect rides scoring into the 90s, as stock contractor Chad Berger brings world champion contending bulls to the event each year, said Jacey Watson, of co-producer Freestone Productions.

At the end of each PBR season, qualifying riders vote on the best PBR event, and in 2016 Big Sky PBR won PBR Event of the Year for the fourth consecutive year.

“These bull riders probably go to 40 events a year. They’ve toured around, been coast to coast … and Big Sky stands out to them,” Watson said.

The event is held in the Big Sky PBR Arena, constructed in the fields behind Town Center Park.

It started seven years ago when Big Sky PBR co-producers Outlaw Partners (publisher of EBS), Freestone Productions and Continental Construction met in a sagebrush field to plan the construction of the perfect bull-riding venue, planning to bring PBR to Big Sky for the very first time.

“It grew from the sagebrush up, from a mid-week event on an entry level division of the PBR, to a week full of community events that impact the local economy and attract the best stock contractors and cowboys from around the world,” said Ersin Ozer, media and events director for Outlaw Partners.

With an estimated 11,000 attendees coming out for PBR weekend last year, the co-producers are beginning to describe the event as “Big Sky’s Biggest Week,” and sponsors and visitors alike are excited for what 2017 will bring.

“[The 2016] Big Sky PBR was a top-notch event and one of, if not our best of, the year,” said Cory Wiese, ranch and rodeo marketing manager for Yeti Coolers, a Big Sky PBR sponsor. “It was fantastic for us to be able to partner up with a group of folks who are also on top of their game and be a part of the excitement. We’ve been looking forward to 2017 ever since.”

Tickets for the 2017 Big Sky PBR go on sale June 1 at bigskypbr.com. For vendor and sponsorship opportunities email ersin@theoutlawpartners.com or call (406) 451-4073.