MECHANICSBURG – Tickets for Luke Bryan’s 10th annual Farm Tour 2018 went on sale early this month and the first stop has been set for the Ayars Family Farm three miles outside of Mechanicsburg at 9715 Irwin Road on Sept. 27. Bonnie Ayars said she expects close to 20,000 people for the concert and also plans on unveiling some mystery flavors of ice cream related to Luke Bryan and his interests.
“It was just luck that the tour picked our farm because of one detail – we have a hayfield,” said Ayars. “Hay makes a good cushion to sit on, it’s not like a cornfield where there would be corn stubble, or a soy field where it wouldn’t be harvested yet. They wanted to be in Madison County and we were one of eight places they narrowed it down to, and Luke Bryan wanted to be close to Columbus. We hosted his group for about two days. Luke Bryan is very dedicated to agriculture; it’s going to be a great thing for the community.”
John and Bonnie Ayars own and operate their 1,000-acre family farm – “Land of Living” – with their sons Lucas and Eli. The farm consists of conventionally grown corn, soybeans, and hay, but the main focus is caring for 150 cows and using the milk to make homemade ice cream right on the farm.
Bonnie said the family will be meeting with 28 people at the end of August to discuss the logistics, security, parking, cleanup and many other details. The farm includes an event center where they can host the meeting, and which will be used for ice cream sales the day of the concert. She said the tour plans to set up for the concert, perform, and then tear down and be out of the area by 2 a.m. on route to the next tour stop.
“We are trying to make sure we get four cuttings of hay in that field, because that’s what we do as farmers,” she said. “We work with mother nature, Uncle Sam, and now throw a Luke Bryan concert in on top of that.”
Bryan launched the Farm Tour in 2009, with the objective of bringing awareness to farming communities and providing scholarships for families who live in those communities. Over 100,000 fans have attended the tour each year since its inception, and more than 50 scholarships have been granted to students from farming families who are attending the local college or university near the tour stops.
“I can’t believe we’ve been doing this 10 years!” Bryan noted in a statement. “Our goal was to bring big-city production concerts into these small towns across the U.S. giving those communities the opportunity to attend shows that would never come their way.”
Bryan, a first-time judge on this season of American Idol, will work in his six-city Farm Tour in between dates for his What Makes You Country Tour, which launches May 31 and runs through October. Stops include Irwin; Pesotum, Illinois; Boone, Iowa; Archer, Florida; North Augusta, South Carolina; and Ringold, Georgia. Tickets are available through Bryan’s website, https://www.lukebryan.com/tour