And veteran performer and songwriter Toby Keith will headline the final night, Sept. 2.
Rounding out the three-day, 15 artist lineup will be a mix of veterans and emerging artists, including two who endured the remnants of Hurricane Harvey on the first day of Boom 2017: Luke Combs and Kane Brown.
Last week, festival presenters WBUL-FM 98.1 and the Lexington Legends announced the long-running festival would be leaving its outdoor home since 2011 of the Legends’ Whitaker Bank Ballpark. The organizers cited fan comments that showed concerns with weather and a lack of good reserved seating in the ballpark as the primary reasons for making the move indoors to Rupp Arena.
They also noted greater proximity to hotels, restaurants and parking downtown, and said that built in concert infrastructure they gained moving into the arena would let them lower ticket prices. The base three-day general admission ticket for Red, White & Boom will drop from $199 last year to $99 this year. Tickets, which will include premium levels, go on sale at 10 a.m. June 8.
In the arena, the festival will be presented on a turntable stage, allowing shorter times between acts, so the artist count will go up from 12 to 15.
Here’s who will round out the lineup each night:
▪ Rodney Atkins: He topped the charts in the mid-aughts with “Watching You,” “These Are My People” and “It’s America.” His last studio album was “Take a Back Road” in 2011. His website says a new album is coming this year.
▪ Morgan Wallen: The Season 6 competitor on “The Voice” just dropped his debut album, “If I Know Me,” in April. It includes the single “Up Down,” recorded with Florida Georgia Line.
▪ Morgan Evans: You may be more familiar with this Australian as Mr. Kelsea Ballerini. They married in December, and he also released the appropriately-titled single “I Do” that month.
▪ Kane Brown: Before he blew up last year, Brown made several high-profile stops at Lexington’s Manchester Music Hall. He also just made a little Billboard country chart history with Darius Rucker, as his No. 1 “Heaven” was followed in the top spot by Rucker’s “For the First Time.” It’s the first time there have been two consecutive No. 1’s by minority solo artists on the country songs chart.
▪ Chase Rice: Rice throws a bit of a curve in the country star-reality show resume: He was on “Survivor: Nicaragua” in 2010, where he was the runner up. He also co-penned Florida Georgia Line’s breakthrough, “Cruise.” His latest album is “Lambs & Lions.”
▪ Ashley McBryde: The lone woman on this year’s lineup is also a Rupp vet, having opened for Justin Moore last fall. McBryde’s major label debut, “Girl Going Nowhere,” has been getting rave reviews, particularly for the single, “Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega.”
▪ Luke Combs: When he took the stage on the monsoon first day of the 2017 Boom, Combs was ready with songs like the amusing “When it Rains it Pours” and “Hurricane.” He just released an expanded version of his debut album titled, “This One’s for You Too.”
▪ David Lee Murphy: The chart-topping singer of “Dust on the Bottle” and “Party Crowd” had been intentionally out of the spotlight for a while when he dropped his new album “No Zip Code” in April, including the single, “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” with Kenny Chesney.
▪ Tyler Farr: You probably know him best for his 2014 No. 1 single, “A Guy Walks Into a Bar.” His latest single is “Love By the Moon.”
▪ Craig Campbell: Campbell first broke onto the country scene early this decade with his 2011 self-titled debut and 2013’s “Never Regret.” His new EP, “See You Try,” is due Friday, the same day Red, White & Boom tickets go on sale.
If you go
Red, White & Boom 2018
What: Country music festival featuring Chris Young, Cole Swindell, Brad Paisley, Jake Owen, and Toby Keith.
When: Aug. 31-Sept. 2
Where: Rupp Arena, 430 W. Vine St.
Tickets: Only three-day tickets are being sold initially. $99 general admission to $299 VIP with several levels in between. If single tickets are sold, they will be released within a few weeks of the event.
Editor’s note: This story was updated to include Jake Owen, after he was announced earlier in August.