Country artist Cole Swindell to headline concert after TaxSlayer Gator Bowl

Concert to be held before Jacksonville's New Year's Eve fireworks display

By Crystal Chen - Assignment editor/reporter, Steve Patrick - News4Jax digital managing editor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Country artist Cole Swindell will headline a concert New Year's Eve after the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl and before the city of Jacksonville's fireworks display.

Platinum-selling songwriter and artist Swindell will perform after 2018 TaxSlayer Gator Bowl New Year's Eve Celebration.

Jacksonville's 74th Gator Bowl game will kick off at 7:30 p.m., making it the first broadcast in prime time in 25 years. Tickets to the game will include the concert and fireworks show.

LINK: Tickets to 2018 Tayslayer Gator Bowl

"This is such a big deal to me," Swindell said. "I've always dreamed of playing in venues like this, but actually playing sports. I never thought I'd be singing my songs in them."

Swidell said he was born in Savannah, grew up near Albany and attended Georgia Southern University, where he met Luke Bryan. After graduation, he sold merchandise for three years on Bryan tours while writing songs before launching his own career.

In addition to writing several songs for Bryan -- "Just a Sip," "Beer in the Headlights," "Roller Coaster," "Out Like That," "I'm Hungover," "In Love with the Girl," "Love in a College Town," "Shore Thing," "Shake the Sand" and "The Sand I Brought to the Beach" --  Swindell has written singles for Craig Campbell, Thomas Rhett, Scotty McCreery. He has released nine singles, of which seven have charted within the Top 5 of Hot Country Songs and/or Country Airplay.

Other hit songs Swidell has written include Campbell's "Outta My Head," Rhett's "Get Me Some of That;" and McCreery's "Water Tower Town" and "Carolina Eyes."

Adding a concert is expected to make to the game -- an annual event for Jacksonville -- an even bigger draw.

"Over $10 million of economic impact, and what that means for taxpayers is people coming to our city, staying in our hotels, going to our restaurants, buying merchandise," Mayor Lenny Curry said. "Those are all dollars from outside our city coming in."

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