These days, Dierks Bentley typically likes to be in bed long before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve. “I haven’t played a New Year’s Eve show in a really long time,” the singer said at a recent press event.
“I’ve had so many different versions of New Year’s Eve depending on what phase of life I’m in, right?” he explains. “There were definitely some New Years recently where I like to be sound asleep by the time 12 o’clock rolls around. So I can have a great start to the new year and not be hungover, start the year off on the wrong foot.”
But this year is different, because this year, he’s co-headlining New Year’s Eve Live! Nashville’s Big Bash, a five-hour free concert that will — for the first time ever — air as a live television special on CBS.
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Bentley was eager to play this show even if it keeps him up past his bedtime, he says, because he takes so much pride in Nashville and what country music has to offer on a national scale. “When I found out this big CBS special was happening in my adopted hometown of Nashville, I really wanted to be part of it, because it’s such a special moment for the city,” he explains. “It’s a special moment for country music. You know, I love our town, and I love country music.”
The singer knows first-hand what massive appeal Music City holds as a tourist destination. His bar and venue, Whiskey Row, is located on downtown’s Lower Broadway strip alongside other bars owned by artists like Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan.
“[The city’s] definitely changed a lot…even when I opened Whiskey Row, we started that about seven years ago, and I was like, ‘I don’t think Nashville can really handle Whiskey Row,’” Bentley remembers. “Now, looking back, I’m like, ‘Oh, gosh.’ The town has changed so much. It’s a big destination for so many fans. I think that’s why this show is gonna be super fun, because even if you’re not here [watching the concert], there’s a good chance that the people watching on TV have been here, and they’re excited to come revisit their memories.”
Nashville’s Big Bash will run directly against Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, the long-running show that airs from New York City’s Times Square and airs on ABC. It will feature nearly 50 performances airing from all across Nashville, and artists like Miranda Lambert, Darius Rucker, Luke Bryan, Brooks & Dunn and Kelsea Ballerini are all set to perform.
The countdown to 2️⃣ 0️⃣ 2️⃣ 2️⃣ is only ONE WEEK away! Join us for a night of celebration and great music. ✨
— CBS (@CBS) December 24, 2021
But one of the things that sets the Nashville show apart, Bentley continues, is there will be a hometown show vibe.
“This is where most of the artists live,” he points out. “That’s a unique thing about this show compared to other shows: People aren’t flying in and staying in hotels. They’re literally just driving from their house to be a part of this great bash. So it’s definitely unique…the city and genre is, and I think this show will be unique to any other show out there.”
Bentley says once he heard it was happening, he asked for a chance to be a part of the Big Bash, adding that it’s a special event worth staying up late for.
“If I wasn’t doing this I’d probably be home and in bed by 10 o’clock,” he jokes. “I’m staying up late for the cause of country music and Nashville.”