White, Planet Rock to open at Shellabration

MCA recording artist Drake White and The Big Fire, and longtime local rockers Planet Rock will open for Lynyrd Skynyrd at this year’s Shellabration concert.

The support acts for the Aug. 1 concert dovetail with Shellabration Inc.’s tradition of hosting a diverse mix of opening acts, said organization president Jim Reed.

“In honor of the southern rock genre, which is an amalgam of rock, country and blues, this year we’ve a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll,” he said.

Planet Rock has been on Shellabration’s short list for some time, Reed said.

“I’ve always had a soft spot for these guys. A couple of them (Jeremy Pearson and Nick Rosendahl) were core members of the Cave Band,” which played classic rock in the area beginning in the 1990s. “I’ve always known I’ve wanted to work with them.”

Besides, he said, “You can’t go wrong with a band that has ‘rock’ in its name.”

White was named as one of Billboard magazine’s “Top 10 Country Artists to Watch” in 2013. He made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry stage in 2013 and released his first single, “The Simple Life,” last year. It landed in the Top 40 of the Billboard country chart.

Reed said he hopes the crossover nature of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s appeal, coupled with the addition of White, will expand and build on Shellabration’s classic rock audience.

“Our goal is to reach a record 6,000 in attendance this year,” he said.

Tickets will go on sale Saturday for $36; the price will increase to $45 on July 20. An additional $1 is added at checkout on each ticket as a donation to the Lynyrd Skynyrd Foundation in support of charitable causes.

A new twist this year is the addition of Lynyrd Skynyrd meet-and-greet packages which, Reed said, are becoming increasingly common among A-list artists.

The first 20 fans who purchase the packages will receive one general admission ticket, some exclusive tour merchandise, a personal photograph with the band and an autographed tour poster, along with the opportunity to meet the band. The packages sell for $225 each and are available online via Ticketweb.com or by phone at (866) 468-3401. There is a limit of four packages per order.

Shellabration, Reed said, serves as the conduit for the meet-and-greet packages, but the organization will receive only the $36 face value of the admission ticket.

All seats for Shellabration are general admission with festival-style seating. Children 12 and younger are admitted free with an adult.

In addition to ordering tickets online or by phone, tickets will also be available in Fort Dodge at Hy-Vee, Hy-Vee Drugstore, CSBank, First American Bank, Great Western Bank and Wells Fargo.

Shellabration Inc. is a tax-exempt nonprofit organization consisting of unpaid board members and volunteers.