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By ANGIE CARNATHAN
North Carolina-based folk rock band the Avett Brothers was announced Friday as the headliner for Bulldog Bash 2011.
Bulldog Bash is presented by Cellular Southâ€™s Emerge: Mobilize Your Music program and sponsored by the Mississippi State University Student Association.
This yearâ€™s Bulldog Bash will be held on Nov. 11, the eve of the MSU-Alabama football game. Bulldog Bash is currently Mississippiâ€™s largest free outdoor concert, previously drawing crowds of approximately 35,000 people.
Considering the popularity of the Avett Brothers, this yearâ€™s crowd has the potential to bring record-breaking numbers of fans to Starkville. SA President Rhett Hobart said the bandâ€™s massive popularity among not only students, but also locals and alumni is the main reason they were chosen.
â€śWe started a Twitter and Facebook blitz in the spring asking people who they wanted the Bulldog Bash headliner to be,â€ť Hobart said. â€śIn a month and a half, we had tallied over 600 suggestions. We made spreadsheets and recorded everyoneâ€™s suggestions. We planned to make offers in the order of popularity from the tally, and we were very happy to have been able to get the band that we made the first offer to.â€ť
Bulldog Bash will feature six musical acts throughout the afternoon and evening. Country music artist Jake Owen will perform, as well as yet-to-be-announced rhythm and blues and Motown artists. There will be a contest held by Cellular South in the coming weeks to help choose one of its Emerge artists to open for the Avett Brothers. The music begins at 5 p.m., and the Avett Brothers will close out the evening, taking the stage at 10 p.m.
â€śWeâ€™re really excited to be working with Cellular South and their Emerge: Mobilize Your Music program because a lot of the Emerge artists are from Mississippi and the Southeast, and so it brings a sense of balance to Bulldog Bash to feature some local talent,â€ť Hobart said.
Barbara Pate, a local mixed media artist and manager of Revolution, said she is a huge fan of the Avett Brothers. She said the bandâ€™s music is â€śsoulful, high-energy and addictive.â€ť
â€śI love their whole down-to-earth feeling,â€ť Pate said. â€śThey use a mixture of different instruments, and they have a sound like no other band out there.â€ť
Pate, who said she has spent over $100 twice already to see the band perform live, says there is no way she will miss this show.
â€śI saw them at the amphitheater in Tuscaloosa and then again in Birmingham in an orchestra setting,â€ť Pate said, â€śbut it was still two completely different shows. They put on an amazing live performance. Theyâ€™re really humble and seem to love what they do.â€ť
A limited number of VIP passes for the show can be purchased online at http://www.msubulldogbash.org.