Pendleton Whisky Music Fest announces Toby Keith as new 2021 headliner

Cole Swindell, Clay Walker and Clare Dunn are also part of the 2021 lineup
Pendleton Whisky Music Fest Toby Keith, Cole Swindell, Clay Walker and Clare Dunn
Pendleton Whisky Music Fest

PENDLETON, Ore. – Country music superstar Toby Keith will headline the 2021 Pendleton Whisky Music Fest as part of a new lineup, organizers announced Friday.

Country stars Clare Dunn, Clay Walker and Cole Swindell are also on the bill. They’ll perform on stage for a live audience on Saturday, July 10 at the historic Pendleton Round-Up rodeo grounds.

Previously announced headliner Eric Church and Washington state artist Macklemore will play next year instead.

There were plans to make 2020 the “biggest year yet” for the festival. It was announced in the fall of 2019 that Eric Church would headline and Macklemore would also perform on July 11, 2020.

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The COVID-19 pandemic forced a change of plans. The 2020 concert did not happen as scheduled.

“The new line-up of 2021 performers will replace the original headlining artist Eric Church, who is now set to perform at the Pendleton Whisky Music Fest in 2022, along with Macklemore,” festival organizers said in a press release.

Around 12,000 fans will be allowed this year – a reduction from years past – and face masks will be optional. Event sponsor Pendleton Whisky will hand out masks for those who choose to wear one.

Tickets for the new 2021 lineup will go on sale here on Friday, June 4.

If you already bought a ticket and/or camping package through the festival (at pendletonwhiskymusicfest.com or the box office), you can use it to see Eric Church and Macklemore on July 9, 2022.

If you already bought a ticket but can’t make the new date in 2022, you can request a refund, and get first-crack “priority access” – on Thursday, June 3 – at buying tickets for the 2021 show.

The so-called Party in Pendleton is one of the area’s top concerts, attracting big-name artists. Past performers have included Maroon 5, Blake Shelton, Post Malone, Zac Brown Band and Pitbull.

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New headliner Toby Keith is a Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee and two-time ACM Entertainer of the Year known for hits “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue,” “I Love This Bar,” “Cryin’ for Me,” “How Do You Like Me Now?!” and “I Wanna Talk About Me.”

Cole Swindell is the Grammy-nominated multi-Platinum artist behind the recent smash hit “Single Saturday Night,” his 11th career single. He had to pause his headlining Down To Earth Tour during the pandemic. Clay Walker is a country music artist who hit it big in the mid-90s with the singles “What’s It to You,” “Live Until I Die” and “This Woman and This Man.” Clare Dunn was on CMT’s 2019 Next Women of Country Tour and is now supporting her Real Thing EP featuring “We Are,” “Real Thing” and “Unread.”

The featured artists won’t be the first to play during the event. The music fest will kick off Friday, July 9, with a party in downtown Pendleton featuring performances by Kurt Van Meter, Precious Byrd and DJ Sovern-T.

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