ATHENS — There will be no pregame entertainment at G-Day after all.
Georgia set out weeks ago to hire a “major musical act” to play a mini-gig at Sanford Stadium before Saturday’s intrasquad scrimmage, for which the Bulldogs are trying to attract a capacity crowd of 93,000. Alas, they may have shot too high. Athletic Director Greg McGarity said Tuesday they simply struck out on that front.
“We had about a 15-minute or so spot to fill for something, and we tried really, really hard to schedule some acts, but it just wouldn’t work out, the timing and the tour schedules,” McGarity said Tuesday. “Early on I think my quote was, ‘we’re just trying to work on something special.’ … We tried but it just didn’t work out.”
They certainly did. McGarity declined to reveal just who or what acts Georgia sought after, but a source with knowledge of the negotiations said the Bulldogs went after country music stars Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan. Bryan has a concert scheduled Saturday night in Charlottesville, Va., while Aldean doesn’t currently show anything on his schedule.
Both artists are represented by the Richard De La Font Agency in Tulsa, Okla., which did not return messages seeking comment.
McGarity also mentioned an artist they approached having a conflict in Charleston, S.C., this Saturday. That happens to be where the Zac Brown Band of Dahlonega and Thomas Rhett are playing this weekend.
Corey Smith, a former UGA student who has written several songs paying homage to his alma mater and its football team, also was said to have been approached. But he’s playing a show in Greensboro, N.C.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution had made a Freedom of Information request for correspondences between UGA and potential music artists but was informed Monday none existed.
“So much of it’s verbal,” McGarity said. “When it came time to execute contracts is when things fell through. When you talk about a draft of a contract, it never really got to that point. … (But) we went pretty deep.”
Asked if UGA had approached R.E.M. or any of its resident members to play, McGarity laughed. “I don’t want those guys for 15 minutes. I want them for three hours.”
Indeed, he said plans are in the works to host another major concert at Sanford Stadium. Aldean played to a near-capacity crowd there in 2013.
As for G-Day, McGarity said the UGA video staff has put together a 15-minute presentation to be shown on the video board between the time the players stretch and warmup and the 4 p.m. kickoff for television.
“Our video staff has done a great job with … content that has never been released before,” McGarity said. “I’ve seen the teases of it and it’s going to populate that time.”
G-Day, Georgia’s annual spring football scrimmage, is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, at Sanford Stadium. Check back here daily for DawgNation’s G-Day coverage brought to you by Georgia United Credit Union.