Befitting Kenny Chesney himself the Variety of East Tennessee benefit Wednesday night will have a more casual tone than such events of the past.
Normally, Variety events are dress-up affairs. But for Chesney, who’ll be promoting his first movie “Kenny Chesney: Summer in 3-D,” the benefit at the Regal Pinnacle Stadium 18 and IMAX will be laid-back.
Corona will be served. Barbecue will be on the menu. The Chillbillies will perform, and flip-flops aren’t out of the question.
Around 1,000 tickets have been sold. You don’t have to have a ticket to be in the parking lot and see Chesney arrive. A railing and plenty of security will make sure non-ticketed fans can’t get too close – unless Chesney walks over to them.
Variety benefit organizers like to discourage that. After all, the reason for this is to raise money for a charity. And to make it more appealing to the people who do buy tickets, Variety is setting the proper atmosphere. “It’s a concert movie,” says Dena Pinsker, director of Variety. “And we were thinking, ‘Let’s make this a concert.'”
The film will showcase Chesney, the biggest concert draw of any musical genre, in his element. It also gives an inside perspective of Chesney as he prepares mentally for a show. Fans will have better access to Chesney than almost any other time they’ve seen him, she says.
He’s expected to arrive by car around 6:30 p.m., direct from Nashville. His mother and grandmother, both of whom live in this area, will be his dates for the event. They want to see the movie, and Chesney may stick around to watch it with them.
How did such an event idea come about? Pinkser says Sony, which is behind the picture, contacted Regal about doing a special promotion, especially since Chesney is an East Tennessee native.