Country Artists to Perform for Those Affected in Gatlinburg Fire, Dec. 17 & 18

Zac Brown Band will headline a weekend of live country music in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, to help raise money and collect much-needed items for those affected in wildfires that ravaged the area recently.

On Saturday, December 17, Zac Brown Band will perform as part of The Mountain Tough Benefit, hosted by Ole Smoky Moonshine, at 705 Parkway in Gatlinburg. The lineup also includes Jim Lauderdale, Rodney Crowell, Sam Bush, Derek St. Holmes, Jason D. Williams, Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley, Randy Kohrs, Sarah Potenza, Mo Pitney, Chelle Rose and others.


The Saturday event will begin at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time, and will be broadcast live on 100,000-watt WMOT/Roots Radio from Middle Tennessee State University as well as a network of statewide and regional radio stations. Music City Roots will stream the event live worldwide as well. All proceeds will go to the Sevier County Community Fund. Information is available at


On Sunday, December 18, hot sauce company Pepper Palace will present the Smokies Strong Relief Benefit from 2:00-6:00 p.m. at Hard Rock Café in Pigeon Forge, in association with Hard Rock Café, the Tennessee Smokies baseball team, Margaritaville, Nightlife Productions and


“This event is to receive donations for our community and their families, but most importantly to give the children a very Merry Christmas,” said Will C-Nuñez, Executive Director of Marketing for Pepper Palace. “Items to donate can be gift cards, clothing for children or adults and supplies, like toothpaste, toilet paper, or canned foods.”


Raffle tickets for special prizes will be given with monetary donations. All proceeds will go to the Gatlinburg Relief Fund, which was established by the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce Foundation t o directly benefit families impacted by the wildfires.


Children attending the Sunday event will have an opportunity to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, courtesy of Margaritaville, and can play in a bounce house, which will be provided by the Tennessee Smokies. Adults, meanwhile, can enjoy live music by country singer Kaitlyn Baker and by Stephen Goff & The Royals. The show will be emceed by DJ Nightlife 305.


Baker, who is based in Southwest Virginia, has done two previous shows in collaboration with Pepper Palace, which produces Kaitlyn Baker’s BURN Sauce, a hot sauce. Her ballad “To Pieces” was recently released to country radio.

“Like everyone else, I was heartbroken to see the devastation in the Gatlinburg area and to learn about the loss of life,” Baker said. “Hopefully, we can bring a bit of joy to some of the families who have suffered so much.”


Stephen Goff, who has been a favorite at venues throughout the Southeast for several years, has performed with the likes of 38 Special, Ricky Skaggs, The Kentucky Headhunters, Marty Stuart, Ralph Stanley, Goose Creek Symphony, Black Oak Arkansas and Chris Stapleton.


The Smokies Strong Relief Benefit will take place at Hard Rock Café, 2050 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, on Sunday, December 18, from 2:00-6:00 p.m. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted. To donate online, visit or text PFG to 91999. Donations may also be dropped off at any SmartBank location and at Hard Rock Café Pigeon Forge. Checks may be made out to Gatlinburg Relief Fund and mailed to P.O. Box 1910, Pigeon Forge, TN 37868-1910.


More information is available at