Culinarily, Zac is quite the foodie. I even saw him at Husk with several band members the first night I ate there, so he obviously has good taste. Zac and his executive chef Rusty Hamlin have put together quite an impressive roster of food options for festival attendees. The star guest chef is Top Chef, James Beard and Food and Wine best new chef winner Stephanie Izard of The Girl and the Goat in Chicago. Other guest chefs include Giuseppe Tentori from Chicago and Shon Foster from Utah. Gary Valentine from the World Brewing Academy will be serving as the beer sommelier for festival attendees who opt for the Saturday VIP Foodie experience.
The package, which costs $499 and includes your festival ticket, offers all sorts of amenities for those who wish to emphasize the food in addition to the bands. Tickets for the VIP Foodie Experience are only available via phone at 1-877-4FLYTIX (1-877-435-9849). Here's what you get for the upgrade, from the event announcement:
• Celebrity chef cooking demos and samplings featuring Stephanie Izard’s Illinois Farmed Sloppy Goat Sandwiches and Giuseppe Tentori’s Oyster PoBoy Sliders with Kimchi and Peanuts.
• Indoor, intimate afternoon experience hosted by Southern Ground Executive Chef Rusty Hamlin at the Listening Room Cafe Stage.
• Unique craft beer pairings by expert Beer Sommelier Gary Valentine and featured wine offerings to complement each dish.
• "S'Mores School' with Chef Shon Foster featuring his twist on the dessert favorite including handcrafted ingredients such as homemade flavored marshmallows and organic, dark chocolate salt-cured bacon.
Ticket includes Saturday admission to the Festival and the Saturday VIP Foodie Tent.
• Access to the SATURDAY VIP FOODIE TENT: Enjoy the performances from an exclusive Foodie VIP Tent with elevated viewing deck with amazing views of the Main Stage.
• Complimentary catered food and full bar.
• Comfortable covered lounge area.
• Air-conditioned private restrooms, cellphone charging stations and HDTV screens to enjoy your favorite football games.
Yeah, this might seem pricey, but when you compare it the cost of a club seat at a Titans game ($258) and then add in what you could spend on food and drink watching a three-hour football game, suddenly a whole day and night of music, drink, food and fun doesn't seem quite so outrageous. But don't feel like you have to go big or go home.
There are still single day field and "pit" tickets available which will grant you a fine view of the music and access to some excellent food. Zac and Rusty's mobile kitchen "Cookie" will be serving up some of their favorite Southern dishes, including Rusty’s Jambalaya and their famous Eat & Greet staple, Chocolate Peanut Butter Biscuit Pudding. The big-name guest chefs will also be cooking for the masses, so festival attendees will have a chance to experience Tentori's oyster po'boy sliders with kimchi and peanuts, Izard's "Sloppy Goat" sandwich, Chef Rusty's jambalaya, and Foster's s'mores (with organic salt-cured bacon), paired with their perfect beer by Gary Valentine.
Local restaurants and chefs will also get the chance to show off for the home team. Bob Waggoner will represent Watermark, and The Southern Steak & Oyster will be bringing its brand of Southern classics a couple of blocks from the restaurant. F. Scott's, Margot and Marché Artisan Foods will contribute their gourmet brand of cooking to the festival as well, and you can finish off your meal with a delightful frozen treat form Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream.
For more info and ticketing, visit the event website.
Edited to clarify: Initially I had said that the $499 VIP ticket was in addition to your festival ticket. Your day's admission is, in fact, included in the $499 cost.