Nashville was buzzing for weeks ahead of this year’s NFL draft so, of course, country music showed up in a big way. In addition to taking roles with ESPN or with actual picks, stars like Tim McGraw, Dierks Bentley, Lindsay Ell, and Ryan Hurd actually had free concerts on the main stage of the event.
Tim McGraw performed on April 26, and while his set was as solid as the country star himself, he took it up a few degrees by bringing wife Faith Hill and daughters Gracie and Audrey onto the stage as well.
Dierks Bentley, who also owns the Whiskey Row bar in downtown Nashville, took the same stage on April 27. And as much as the city had anticipated a large turn-out for the event, even Dierks was shocked at the 500,000+ people packed into the downtown corridor.
[RELATED: Tim McGraw and Former Tennessee Titan Eddie George Welcome NFL Draft to Music City With Special Video]
“Thought I’d seen Lower Broadway from every angle…as a fan to a performer, a bar patron to a bar owner (shameless @whiskeyrowplug), from a bar stool and once or twice from the floor… But this view and crowd tonight was a first. #nfl#nfldraft #nashville,” Dierks wrote in a post on Instagram.
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Thought I’d seen Lower Broadway from every angle…as a fan to a performer, a bar patron to a bar owner (shameless @whiskeyrow plug), from a bar stool and once or twice from the floor… But this view and crowd tonight was a first. #nfl #nfldraft #nashville @captchet for the extra point.. 📷 @zachbelcher08
Lindsay Ell repped the women of country music also proving that the NFL isn’t for men only. And it’s pretty obvious from the size of the crowd that Lindsay draws a sizable crowd of both men and women.
“HOLY CRAP NASHVILLE. That. Was. Insane. Thank you for having us @nfldraft!,” she wrote along side a photo on stage.
Ryan Hurd had a daytime set, but the action started early on draft day. And heck, since he was there anyway, the ESPN On the Clock crew recruited him to offer a little insight into the draft.
“Draft set at 9 AM. Nashville knows how to throw a party. Gonna crawl in a hole and sleep for a day or two after this weekend,” Ryan shared.
Luke Bryan got to spend a little time behind the commentator’s desk helping the ESPN College Gameday Crew cover the pros. HIs wife Caroline shouted out a congratulatory note to her hubby following his appearance.
But Chris Young, a big Dallas Cowboys fans, got directly involved with the draft and even had his own shot on TV for the yearly event. All in all the Draft in Nashville was a big success, drawing 600,000 fans to Music City. Now, that’s a party!