That primary performance area also will include rising acts Chris Young, Steel Magnolia and Stealing Angels on Saturday and Josh Turner, Easton Corbin, Joanna Smith and the Harters on Sunday.
Highlights on the smaller stages for Saturday include songwriting bards Kris Kristofferson (a late sub for Loretta Lynn, who canceled because she's recuperating from recent knee surgery) and Rodney Crowell as well as the retro-country duo the Secret Sisters on the Palomino Stage and multiple award-winning bluegrass singer-fiddler Rhonda Vincent and the Punch Brothers as well as the novelty-with-serious-chops band the Cleverlys on the Mustang Stage.
Continuing his late-career renaissance, Leon Russell will bring his band to the Palomino Stage on Sunday ahead of alt-country singer k.d. lang and her Siss Boom Bang band, '50s rocker Wanda Jackson, guit-steel master Junior Brown and singer-songwriter-guitarist Rosie Flores. Ricky Skaggs diverges from the acoustic bluegrass and gospel path he's tried in recent years to revisit his plugged-in, trad-country catalog on Sunday at the Mustang Stage, which also features dobro master Jerry Douglas' trio and the Coal Porters, the U.K.-based alt-bluegrass group fronted by former L.A. alt-country musician Sid Griffin of the Long Ryders.
Tollett said because of the reconfiguration of the grounds for this year's festivals that adds 5 acres of land, attendance will be capped at 55,000 per day, up from 50,000 last year.
"We've moved the vendors and the food and the barbecue to the terrace area," Tollett said, "so it should feel even more spacious this year."