Kelly Clarkson will headline the 2013 Stadium of Fire, officials of America’s Freedom Festival in Provo announced Thursday.
Pop sensation Carly Rae Jepsen of “Call Me Maybe” fame, as well as acrobats from “Zarkana” by Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas, also will perform at the July Fourth event in Brigham Young University’s LaVell Edwards Stadium.
Tickets to Stadium of Fire 2013 will go on sale to the general public on Wednesday, April 3, at 8 a.m., and will be sold simultaneously online and at the BYU Marriott Center ticket office in Provo. Members of the Freedom Festival’s email list will have the option to purchase tickets before the general public. (See box for details)
The Stadium of Fire event, now in its 33rd year, has grown to become one of the United States’ premier patriotic celebrations, attracting an average attendance of 40,000 and televised live to more than 1 million military men and women in more than 100 countries via the American Forces Network.
The night also will include the young Stadium of Fire Dancers, the biggest stadium fireworks show in America and the Skydive Utah parachute team.
The inclusion of Cirque du Soleil makes this year’s Stadium of Fire more of an “event” than just a concert, said Brett Walker, board member of America’s Freedom Festival, the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that sponsors the event.
Clarkson, 30, came to prominence when she won the first season of “American Idol,” and has remained one of the few victors to sustain a successful career. Her recent album and hit “Stronger” was nominated for three Grammy Awards in February and her most recent song, “Catch My Breath,” off her new “Greatest Hits: Chapter One” album, hit No. 1 on Billboard’s U.S. Hot Dance Club Songs chart and the top 15 of the all-genre singles chart.
The husky-voiced soprano from Texas has sold more than 23 million albums and 36 million singles worldwide, attracting fans from the pop, rock and country worlds. Some of her best-known singles are “A Moment Like This,” “My Life Would Suck Without You,” “Because of You,” “Since U Been Gone” and “Behind These Hazel Eyes.”
Clarkson last performed in Utah in March 2012 at West Valley City’s Maverik Center.
“We think she’s kind of upbeat,” said Paul Warner, executive director of the Freedom Festival. “She’s been around for a while. ‘American Idol’ has a real following around her.” He added that a recent People magazine cover story about Clarkson indicated that she was a “positive” person.
With the exception of Psy’s “Gangnam Style,” Jepsen’s pop single “Call Me Maybe” was the biggest hit of 2012. The 27-year-old’s second single, “Good Time,” a duet with Owl City, also reached the top of the charts. She placed third in season five of “Canadian Idol” and last performed in Utah in January, opening for Justin Bieber’s sold-out show at Salt Lake City’s EnergySolutions Arena.
“Everyone we talked to, kids, know that song,” Warner said of “Call Me Maybe.” He said when people buy tickets, they tend to order seven to nine tickets so that the whole family can attend the family-friendly concert.
In an interview with The Tribune in January, Jepsen said it was important that she shape her own image in the media, which has remained largely squeaky-clean. She attributed some of her girl-next-door mien to being closer to 30 than 20 when she hit the big time.
Jepsen made headlines in mid-March when she dropped out of the Boy Scout Jamboree because the organization bans gay scouts and leaders. She did say yes to headlining March’s White Party T-Dance in Palm Springs, a massive gay-pride festival.
Walker addressed Jepsen’s recent activities by saying that America’s Freedom Festival respects all freedoms, including freedom of speech.
“Zarkana,” the resident production at Las Vegas’ Aria Resort, was first produced in 2011. It revolves around the story of a disillusioned magician who is magically transported to a world full of surreal creatures.
Stadium of Fire
When • Thursday, July 4
Where • Brigham Young University’s LaVell Edwards Stadium.
Tickets • $26-$124.
Details • Tickets go on sale to the general public on Wednesday, April 3, at 8 a.m. They will be sold simultaneously online at www.stadiumoffire.com, www.byutickets.com and at the BYU Marriott Center ticket office in Provo. Members of the Freedom Festival’s email list will have the option to purchase tickets before the general public; go to www.freedomfestival.org to sign up.