Ticket sales for the April 24-26 event are up, said festival founder Chris Gilbert, as Toadlick has grown in popularity, name recognition and local support.
“Our first year, we had to convince people to come – entertainers and fans,” Gilbert said. “People know who we are now and some things have gotten easier. Last year, music fans from 40 states came to the festival. This year we reached all the way to Alaska and Hawaii in addition to several foreign countries.”
Some of that growing popularity comes from a strong line-up that includes top names like The Band Perry, Mobile natives named Vocal Group of the Year Sunday by the Academy of Country Music, and country legend Merle Haggard who received a tribute award from the ACM Sunday on his 77th birthday. This is Haggard’s 50th year as a performer.
Also playing are Gary Allan, Billy Currington, REO Speedwagon, Molly Hatchet, Clay Walker, Joe Nichols, Colt Ford, The Lacs, Aaron Lewis, Jana Kramer, Gloriana, Brett Eldredge, Chase Rice, Blackjack Billy, Tobacco Road Band, Anthony Orio, Donica Knight, Steffan Hughes, Rowdy Johnson Band and Mama Try’d.
Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz said the city’s doors are open. “We are very proud to have visitors from all over the U.S. It's great for our economy and allows us to show our Southern hospitality. Plus they get to hear great music at Toadlick,” Schmitz said.
Houston County Commission Chairman Mark Culver said the festival is good for a number of reasons.