Tickets on sale June 1
EBS STAFF WRITER
BIG SKY – The fifth annual Big Sky Professional Bull Riders event is returning to Big Sky Town Center July 30-31. In addition to two days of bull riding, event producers have added a new multi-act concert on Saturday, Aug. 1, which will benefit the Big Sky Community Food Bank.
The Big Sky PBR was named Touring Pro Division Event of the Year in 2013 and 2014, and this summer’s event moves up a notch to the BlueDef Velocity Tour, a division that “has become the second most important bull riding tour in professional sports” behind the Built Ford Tough Series, according to the official PBR website. This event will bring some of the top bull riders in the world to Big Sky.
Bill Simkins, co-owner of Bozeman’s Simkins-Hallin Lumber and developer of Big Sky Town Center, has been to every Big Sky PBR and says it’s become a signature event for the community.
“It’s great to have [the PBR] in Town Center,” Simkins said. “It brings a lot of people to the area, to Town Center and to Big Sky … I think it’s become part of the community fabric now.”
Bozeman-based Kris Clone Band will get the weekend of music started with a country rock concert immediately following the bull riding on Thursday. Premier Led Zeppelin tribute band, Zoso, takes the stage on Friday night, offering listeners the most captivating and accurate Led Zeppelin experience since the real thing.
After two days of bull riding, the Aug. 1 concert will feature three live acts inside the arena, with country music star Robert Earl Keen taking center stage as event headliner. Two Bit Franks and the Jamie McLean Band will open for Keen starting at 5:30 p.m.
Both nights of bull riding and the Aug.1 concert are ticketed events. However, the live music acts on Thursday and Friday nights are free to attend.
Keen, the eclectic singer-songwriter with roots spanning from country to rock and folk to bluegrass, has 18 albums under his belt and was inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012.
To see Keen under the shadow of Lone Mountain will be a major summer highlight, said Outlaw Partners CEO Eric Ladd.
“It’ll be the largest music festival to come to Big Sky since Willie Nelson,” he said, referencing the 2010 show in the community park. “[Keen] is a polished and seasoned performer.”
More than 8,000 fans are expected to attend the three-day festival, which also features a vendor village, food booths, mutton bustin’, and a charitable culture to raise money for local causes.
In addition to General Admission tickets, which are first-come, first-served seating, PBR Golden Buckle tickets will be available, which include a private tent with food and drinks, a Calcutta auction, as well as preferred seating and access to a viewing platform above the chute gate.
A very limited number of VIP tickets will also be available for the Aug. 1 concert, which include food, drinks and preferred seating in an exclusive area with a premier view of the stage on the arena floor. A portion of all concert ticket sales will be gifted to the Big Sky Community Food Bank.
Big Sky Resort is the event’s official lodging sponsor and will be offering a number of lodging packages.
Tickets go on sale June 1, and are available at bigskypbr.com. This event typically sells out quickly, so plan ahead and buy tickets early.
The Outlaw Partners (publisher of EBS) is producing the Big Sky PBR, in partnership with Continental Construction, Simkins-Hallin, and Big Sky Town Center. Title sponsors are the Yellowstone Club, Spanish Peaks Mountain Club, Big Sky Resort, and Moonlight Basin.