Dierks Bentley explains why he feared his Seven Peaks festival might not return for 2021

ABC/Chris Hollo

Earlier this week, Dierks Bentley announced the lineup of his Seven Peaks Music Festival, which will return to Buena Vista, Colorado in early September 2021.

But there was a time when he wasn’t so sure it would return. Launched in 2018, the event was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so it’s still only in its third year. That means Seven Peaks hasn’t had time to financially break even yet, Dierks explains to Billboard.

“We’re not doing it for that — we’re doing it because it’s awesome. We’re hoping one day it does work out that way, but we’re still growing it,” he says.

Still, Dierks launched Seven Peaks in partnership with Live Nation, and after the financial hit of 2020, he had concerns about whether his festival would get the go-ahead for this year.

“[When] it got cut last year, that really hurt and the question of whether Live Nation’s going to put their money behind something that’s not yet making them a lot of money was very worrisome for me,” the singer admits.

But the return of Seven Peaks started to feel “pretty real” once Keith Urban signed on as a headliner, Dierks continues.

“That was such a huge thing; that was the ultimate green light,” he says. “You’ve got to have that one big headliner at a country festival.”

The momentum of adding Keith to the bill began to snowball, and Dierks has also announced a number of other exciting names, like Ingrid Andress, Kip Moore and Travis Denning. Also performing are rising acts like Willie Jones, bluegrass guitarist Molly Tuttle and Dierks’ own ‘90s parody band, the Hot Country Knights.

Seven Peaks runs September 3-5, 2021. Tickets go on sale June 18 at 12 p.m. ET.

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