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Kenny Chesney surprises University of Georgia students with pop-up show; launches new CMT series

ATHENS, GA - AUGUST 29: Kenny Chesney surprises fans with an intimate concert as part of CMT's Instant Jam: Kenny Chesney at The Georgia Theatre on August 29, 2014 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT) Photo: Image by Getty Images for CMT

Kenny Chesney surprises University of Georgia students with pop-up show; launches new CMT series

By Julianne Cassidy. CREATED Aug 31, 2014

After a year-long hiatus from touring in preparation for his Sept. 23 release, "The Big Revival," multi-award winning artist Kenny Chesney surprised an estimated 500 fans at the University of Georgia with a pop-up show on Friday night.

"With a handful of posters going up in the late morning and flyers distributed in downtown Athens [Friday], there was a frenzy to score one of the 500 wristbands allotted for the show, which went on for over two hours," details an event release on Saturday. "With distribution at the University of Georgia’s Phi Mu sorority house, they were gone in less than eight minutes."

At Athens' Georgia Theatre, "Chesney performed 23 songs, some he’s not played in years, hits people expected and a pair of songs from ... 'The Big Revival,' including his top 5 'American Kids,'" the event release further details. "Throwing out the setlist, Chesney even covered Hank Williams' 'Kaw Liga' and George Strait’s 'Carried Away,' while Face Timing Strait on stage as he and the entire audience sang along."

The surprise performance was filmed as the first episode of CMT's new series, "Instant Jam." Each episode will take viewers behind-the-scenes: from releasing surprise ticket information to fans, to the final hours leading up to the performance, and then airing video from the concert itself.

"Instant Jam: Kenny Chesney" premieres Sept. 27 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.


Julianne Cassidy

Julianne Cassidy

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A city girl gone country, Julianne Cassidy is a newly Nashville-based entertainment journalist from Philadelphia.