Dierks Bentley headlines Summer Send Off Music Festival

Grand Ole Opry member Dierks Bentley will enjoy Labour Day weekend in Ponoka as he headlines the first Summer Send Off Music Festival.

Presented by Big Air Entertainment and the Ponoka Stampede Association, the festival will be held at the Ponoka Stampede Rodeo Grounds, starting with a kick-off party on Friday, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m.

“We are pleased to announce that Easton Corbin (who has had recent hits A Little More Country than That and Roll With It), along with Juno-nominated Canadian artist Deric Ruttan will join Bentley on Saturday as main stage performers,” says Brian Halbert of Big Air Entertainment. Casey Clarke of CMT Canada will host the festival.

On Sept. 3, doors for the main stage performances open at noon, with the first of six main stage acts starting at 1 p.m. Saturday’s main stage ticket is also valid for the Saturday night beer gardens which will again have live entertainment until 2 a.m.

“We wanted to create something different from most other outdoor music festivals,” explains Halbert. “The venue at the Summer Send Off Music Festival offers both covered grandstand seating and floor access for fans to get near the stage and dance in the dirt. The tiered grandstand seating offers the biggest benefit to this festival, as concert goers will have great sight lines to see all the main stage acts.”

Blair Vold with the Ponoka Stampede Association said working with Big Air Entertainment to host the festival seemed like a natural fit.

“2011 is the 75th anniversary of the Ponoka Stampede and we wanted to end off the summer rodeo season with a great event. Ponoka is rich in cowboy tradition and conveniently located in the heart of country music in Alberta. We knew we could offer a world-class venue for world-class entertainment, all while keeping it country,” said Vold.

The festival begins with a Kick Off Party Sept. 2 at the Stagecoach Salon located on the Ponoka Rodeo grounds. Doors open at 7 p.m. with live entertainment starting at 8 p.m.

Camping will also be available on site at the Ponoka Rodeo Grounds.