Jackson Browne and Willie Nelson to play at Merriweather for its 50th anniversary

Jackson Browne and Willie Nelson to play at Merriweather for its 50th anniversary

COLUMBIA, Md. (WBFF) - Almost 40 years ago, an unlikely duo sang at Merriweather Post Pavillion.

Willie Nelson and President Jimmy Carter sang "Georgia on My Mind" at the venue in 1978 and again in 1980.

”It’s fun to kind of watch how their fans have changed too,” said Jean Parker, general manager for Merriweather. “[With] Willie Nelson, back in the day there was a lot of pre-gaming going on. Now they’re older, a lot of them are retired and have grandchildren.”

On Saturday, Willie is coming back to celebrate 50 years of Merriweather among Jackson Browne, Father John Misty and Grace Potter. Anyone who is anyone in rock and roll has played here.

“Watching the lifecycle of a concert never grows old, and that’s just a priceless opportunity to have,” said Parker.

The stage has been graced by the likes of Paul Simon, Kanye West and Jimmy Buffett.

The only time The Who and Led Zeppelin played on the same stage was at this venue in 1969.

Before he played Woodstock, Jimi Hendrix played Merriweather 1968. The list goes on.

“Even with the advent of the media components and you can have all of your music on your phone, people still want to come and experience the live entertainment element,” said Parker.

But now, musicians will enjoy accommodations as glamorous as themselves.

A $55 million, five-year renovation is currently in year three.

It includes an expanded stage, ten large dressing rooms for performers, a new box office, concession stands, more bathrooms and a VIP area.

The best part? A very inviting swimming pool for rockstars to cool off in before and after the show.

“There was one guy in all of his clothes in a top hat and suit jacket just floating and I was, like, 'That could be an album cover, honestly,'” said Katherine Joseph, a lifeguard at the pool.

She has witnessed everyone from Dierks Bentley to Jack Johnson in their most leisurely state out here, often practicing their talents.

“Yeah, I am a lucky girl,” she said.

The 50th anniversary concert is on Saturday, July 15. Tickets are still available online.

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