Pickens, SC – March 13, 2023 – Upcountry Fiber announces that Lindsay Ell, who was named “one of the most exciting and talented young artists in country music” by Forbes, will serve as direct support for the company’s charity concert, Southern Fried Circuit on July 28 at the William A. Floyd Amphitheater at the Civic Center in Anderson, S.C. As previously announced, three-time Grammy Award-winner and South Carolina native Darius Rucker will headline the event.
With more than 250M global career streams, Lindsay Ell has become one of country music’s most celebrated female voices. She is a triple threat: musician, unique vocalist and awe-inspiring songwriter. A 2023 Canadian Screen Award nominee (Best Host or Presenter, Factual or Reality/Competition), Ell is GOLD-certified with two #1 Canadian singles, a U.S. #1 and has shared the stage with Shania Twain, Blake Shelton and Keith Urban, among many others. The award-winning performer will go on tour with Shania Twain in May and June 2023, and will be touring across North America, the UK and Germany and all while releasing new music.
Proceeds from Southern Fried Circuit will benefit Upcountry Fiber Foundation, the company’s charitable arm and permanent endowment, which was established in 2022. The foundation is focused on funding non-profits that serve the community in education, youth, culture, arts, and health and human services areas, as the foundation is committed to creating a stronger connection between the organizations that link people and businesses with areas of need. The footprint served is Anderson, Greenville, Oconee, Pickens and Spartanburg counties.
“We are so excited to have someone as musically talented and lauded as Lindsay Ell to join the 2023 Southern Fried Circuit lineup,” said Jeff Wilson, president and CEO of WCFIBER. “She also has an incredible heart for philanthropy, which aligns with our vision for creating this concert – to give back to non-profits in our community to make an impact right here where we work and live.”
“Southern Fried Circuit guests are in for quite a treat,” said Jim Lovinggood, chief executive officer of BREC. “Both Lindsay Ell and Darius Rucker are known for bringing such an incredibly fun show to their fans. We couldn’t be prouder to have them both be our entertainment for our very first charity concert.”
Upcountry Fiber, an internet service provider that bridges the digital divide by bringing broadband internet service to rural and other under and unserved communities, was created in 2020 through a partnership between Blue Ridge Electric Co-op (BREC) and WCFIBER, a subsidiary of West Carolina Rural Telephone Cooperative. Upcountry Fiber Foundation was launched in September 2022 as a way to give back to Upstate philanthropic organizations.
Tickets are on sale at SouthernFriedCircuit.com. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.
About Upcountry Fiber Foundation
The Upcountry Fiber Foundation (UFF) is a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that serves as the philanthropic arm of Upcountry Fiber. Founded in Spring 2022 by Upcountry Fiber’s two governing organizations, Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative and WCFIBER, UFF established a permanent endowment that will enrich the lives of residents in the Upcountry Fiber and Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative service territories. UFF will proudly offer financial support to philanthropic organizations that serve the community in the interests of education, youth, culture, arts, health, and human services.
About Upcountry Fiber
Upcountry Fiber is a high-speed fiber internet provider to the five counties of Anderson, Greenville, Oconee, Pickens, and Spartanburg. Established in Fall 2020, Upcountry Fiber is the product of a partnership between Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative and WCFIBER, a subsidiary of West Carolina Telephone Cooperative. Founded by organizations created to electrify and connect rural areas of South Carolina; decades later, Upcountry Fiber’s mission is to bridge the digital divide. Offering symmetrical internet speeds up to 1 Gbps over a fiber network, Upcountry Fiber has the fastest and most reliable high-speed internet in the area. To learn more about Upcountry Fiber, visit us at www.UpcountryFiber.com.
About Darius Rucker
Rucker first achieved multi-Platinum status in the music industry as lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the GRAMMY Award-winning band Hootie & the Blowfish, who have sold more than 25 million albums worldwide including their Double Diamond-certified (21x Platinum) debut Cracked Rear View, which remains among the Top 10 best-selling studio albums of all time. Since releasing his first Country album in 2008, Rucker has earned a whole new legion of fans with four No. 1 albums on the Billboard Country chart, including RIAA Platinum-certified Learn to Live and True Believers, plus 10 No. 1 singles at Country radio and 11 Gold, Platinum or multi-Platinum certified hits. Rucker was inducted as a Grand Ole Opry member in 2012 and in 2014 he won his third career GRAMMY Award for Best Solo Country Performance with his Diamond-certified (11x Platinum) version of “Wagon Wheel,” one of the Top 5 best-selling Country songs of all time. He co-hosted the 54th annual CMA Awards in 2020 and topped the charts at Country radio once again with “Beers And Sunshine” in 2021. New songs “Same Beer Different Problem” and “Ol’ Church Hymn” (featuring Chapel Hart) are available everywhere now as Rucker puts the finishing touches on his forthcoming album, Carolyn’s Boy.
As a lifelong philanthropist, Rucker co-chaired the capital campaign that generated $150 million to help build the new MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital in his hometown of Charleston, S.C. and has raised over $3 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through his annual Darius & Friends benefit concert and golf tournament. In addition, Rucker has advocated for over 200 charitable causes supporting public education and junior golf programs in South Carolina through the Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation and serves as a National Chair for the National Museum of African American Music in Nashville, Tenn. Rucker is also an avid sports fan, with his NFL x Darius Rucker Collection by Fanatics apparel line available at NFLshop.com, and he is part of the Music City Baseball investment group working to bring an MLB team to Tennessee in addition to serving as a partner at the MGC Sports & Entertainment agency.
For more information, visit www.dariusrucker.com and follow on social media @DariusRucker.
For Lindsay Ell