Dozens of artists to perform at Branson Music Fest | Entertainment

Audiences will have a special opportunity this month to get a taste of what some of Branson’s best shows and artists have in store for them this year at the 11th annual Branson Music Festival.

Returning once again to the Clay Cooper Theater in Branson, this showcase of vocal, musical, comedic and dance talent is hosted by the Branson Travel Planning Association and has been held annually since 2013. This year’s festival will take place at 2pm each day on Friday and Saturday, April 21st and 22nd.

“I believe we put together one of the best shows we’ve ever done,” said Branson Travel Planner Association President Toyea Youngblood. “We have a great selection of both Branson favorites and some newcomers making their debut seasons here in Branson and some folks who have been here for a few years but have had some significant changes in the shape of their show, so we’re going to give audiences a chance to see all the great live entertainment that’s possible in Branson.”

Starting Friday, audiences will be able to welcome to the stage the talents of Listen to the Music, The Goldwing Express, Hot Rods & High Heels, Clay Cooper’s Country Express, Yakov Smirnoff, Branson’s Famous Baldknobbers, Matt Gumm & Company, The Ultimate 70’s Show- Dancing Queen, Doug Gabriel, CJ Newsom and New South.

Audiences are then encouraged to return on Saturday when a new round of talent takes the stage including Absolutely Country/Definitely Gospel, Cassandre’s Voice of an Angel, #1 Hits of the 60’s, Back to the BeeGees, Pierce Arrow, Dublin’s Irish Tenors & Celtic Ladies, The Haygoods, Legends In Concert—A Tribute to Willie Nelson, Legends in Concert—A Tribute to Pat Benatar, Elvis Live: Featuring the Blackwoods, On Fire—The Jerry Lee Lewis Story and Grand Ladies of Country.

“Branson Music Fest is the largest spring music event that Branson hosts. It presents the best sampling of some of the best artists coming together in one place, in one sitting, to give the performance of a lifetime,” said Youngblood. “How do we do it in such a short time? Each of the different artists and performers will just give a preview of their show, a snippet if you will, doing about a 10 to 12 minute set so the audience can get a great taste of what this show is all about in hopes of getting them hooked to continue and see the whole show. This is a great opportunity to sample everything Branson has to offer.”

Since its inception in 2013, Youngblood shared how the Branson Music Fest has evolved into what it is today and why the changes have been positive.

“It started as See the World in Branson, showing all the international influence in entertainment that we had at the time when we started the event. With Shoji Tabuchi, Dublin’s Irish Tenors and Celtic Ladies and Yakov Smirnoff; just a great global influence of talent coming to Branson’s stages,” Youngblood said. “The highlight has always been the show itself, but we’ve also had some ancillary activities. Often times you’ll find us in a tent in the theater parking lot with the artists there doing autographs or chili cook offs or meet and greets or different things.

Over the years, Youngblood said the organization began to notice how it slowly became more about the show than anything else they did.

“It seems like there’s always rain on a music festival weekend, so the weather forecasters appreciated our event because it almost always rained,” Youngblood said. “Then we really found that the focus was on the show and the audience, their focus was on the show. So it gave us an opportunity to kind of hone in on what the audience wanted, and that was to put our efforts into a big show every day for them. From See the World, we have grown into the Branson Music Fest and are still sharpening and refining the importance of stage performance.”

Since the festival has been running for a decade now, Youngblood shared that they have been able to do a lot of good with the funds raised from this event being used to market Branson as a whole.

“It’s not any particular theater or venue or show that gets the proceeds from this.” It goes back to the association and in turn the association offers the whole area. We market the theaters, the hotels, the restaurants and the retail venues, all within the Branson consortium of opportunities for visitors that would come here,” Youngblood said. “Revenue goes back into marketing costs. We are very blessed. We’re volunteer-based, so our administrative and overhead costs are minimal and that allows us to use all those dollars raised to spend on helping people come here and have a great experience or the experience of a lifetime.”

With about two dozen performers assembled for the two-day event, Youngblood said it’s important for the audience to know that everyone they see on stage is volunteering their time to be there.

“I can’t thank them enough. They do so much service to our community by coming out and volunteering for this show,” Youngblood said. “They have unimaginable costs associated with bringing their bands, instruments and transportation, and additional staff hours, just to be a part of this show. It really shows their commitment to our community and to the tourism industry here by being on the show. We value our artists very much.”

The Clay Cooper Theater is located at 3216 W 76 Country Blvd. in Branson. Performance schedules are subject to change.

For additional information or to reserve tickets, call 417-332-2529. Those with groups wishing to attend may call 888-222-8910.

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