Academy of Country Music to kick off Linq with outdoor festival

Country superstars Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban are scheduled to headline the second annual Academy of Country Music Party for a Cause Festival April 4 & 5 at The Linq on the Las Vegas Strip.

The two-day outdoor music festival will mark the first special event to be held at The Linq, which opened late last year. The festival leads up to the 49th annual Academy of Country Music Awards, to be broadcast April 6 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Rendering of The Linq. (Source: Caesars Entertainment Corp.)

The Linq is a $550 million project led by Caesars Entertainment Corp. nestled between Caesars’ Quad and Flamingo resorts. The open-air, pedestrian-only district has been opening restaurants, shops and entertainment in phases. The High Roller observation wheel is expected to open in late March.

The Linq is expected to transform into a “country music fan’s paradise,” according to a festival statement.  The stage will be located next to the Las Vegas High Roller, which is expected to be open by the time of the festival.

“We are thrilled to kick off the first of many large-scale concerts and events at The Linq with the Academy of Country Music,” Linq vice president and general manager Jon Gray said.

The festival will have other stages within The Linq for country music performances by other artists, interactive games and a country marketplace. Thomas Rhett, The Cadillac Three, Joe Nichols, Jerrod Niemann and Chris Young are  scheduled to perform, as are the three nominees for ACM New Artist of the Year.

“The Academy is honored to have Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban headline two separate nights of incredible music,” academy CEO Bob Romeo said in a statement. “We’re privileged to be the first event in this very special space.”

The festival is expected to benefit several military charities; those have not yet been announced.

Tickets start at $65 and go on sale to the public Jan. 24.