MARION, OH – Country star Rodney Atkins and rock band Warrant will pop in to the 35th Marion Popcorn Festival as the headline entertainment. Atkins will take the main stage on Friday, September 11, and Warrant is set for Saturday, September 12. Both performances are at 8:30 p.m. and free to Festival attendees.
The main stage lineup for Thursday, September 10’s Bike Night will feature Straight On – A Tribute to Heart at 8:30 p.m., with classic rock band Left of Center opening at 6:00. All performances are free of charge.
Rodney Atkins. With a successful career spanning over 15 years, the east Tennessee native started off 2015 by releasing his first Greatest Hits album featuring six number one hits and one brand new song. Those include fan favorites “Take a Back Road,” “It’s America,” “Cleaning this Gun”, “These Are My People,” “Watching You,” and “If You’re Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows)”.
Atkins was born in Knoxville, TN and adopted by Allan and Margaret Atkins. During high school, Atkins played guitar at events and festivals, but it was in college that he made friends with several songwriters and began writing himself. In the mid-1990s Atkins moved to Nashville to pursue a recording career and, in 1996, signed with Curb Records.
The single “In A Heartbeat” was released in 1997 and reached number 74 on the country charts; but it wasn’t until 2002 that Atkins released a full album and his career really took off. Four studio albums, numerous awards and nominations later, Atkins has been praised by Taste of Country for his ability to convey “focused, small town lessons riding atop catchy choruses and everyman emotion.”
Atkins, a regular supporter of the military, has toured with the USO to combat zones overseas. He has been quoted as saying, “I didn’t grow up in the military … Once I started playing music, I got the opportunity to meet military families. I think it’s really amazing the sacrifices they make and it’s not just them, it’s also their families. By meeting with them, I have learned that generations of families sacrifice and put their country first.” Atkins has said his trips overseas with the USO have been life-changing, “You get perspective, big-time.”
Warrant. Known for their heavy, melodic rock anthems and sentimental ballads, this American rock band has been performing for over 30 years and sold more than 17 million albums worldwide.
Formed in the early 1980s with a quintet from Hollywood, California, Warrant first came to national prominence in 1989 with their debut album Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich. That album produced radio and MTV chart toppers “Down Boys,” “Sometimes She Cries,” and the massive hit “Heaven” which sold over three million copies.
Warrant’s sophomore effort was Cherry Pie, and the tour in support of this album was one of the top grossing of 1991. The title song has taken on a pop culture life of its own, and has been featured in many movies, TV shows, commercials, and the video game Guitar Hero II. “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and “I Saw Red”, also from this album, both reached top 10 status.
In September 2008, after the death of Jani Lane, Robert Mason became lead vocalist joining the other four original members, Jerry Dixon, Steven Sweet, Joey Allen and Erik Turner. After nine studio, one live, and three compilation albums, Warrant continues to tour festivals, casinos, and fairs all across the country in support of their lastest album, Rockaholic. Released on Frontiers Records and produced by the Grammy winning Keith Olsen, it has been highly regarded in reviews and embraced by fans peaking at 22 on the Billboard Hard Rock Albums chart.
Straight On – Heart Tribute Band. Straight On is the brain child of Monique Orban and is comprised of talented vocalists and musicians from northeast Ohio. Each has a love and passion for the music of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band Heart, and strive to reproduce the unique sound and concert of experience of the acclaimed group.
Concert goers will hear not only the rock anthem “Barracuda” and the song “Straight On,” which inspired their name, but also “Crazy for You,” “Magic Man,” “Kick It Out,” “What About Love,” “All I Wanna Do,” “Bebe Le Strange,” “Heartless,” “Even It Up,” and so many more.
Local rock band Left of Center will play for the early Bike Night crowd from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
The 2015 dates of the Marion Popcorn Festival are September 10, 11 and 12. All performances on the Festival’s main stage begin at 8:30 p.m. and are free of charge. A limited number of Kernel sponsorship seats are available for any of the main stage performances by calling 740-387-FEST.
The Poppin’ Party Stage will also feature nightly bands, as well as the Showcase and Hometown Talent stages providing entertainment throughout the entire festival. Other events include the Popcorn Parade with over 300 units, a popcorn cooking contest, a fine art show, crafts, Popcorn 5000 5K run, Popcorn 100 bike tour, a wine garden and more.
For more information, visit www.popcornfestival.com or call 740-387-FEST. The Marion Popcorn Festival is sponsored in part by the City of Marion.