When the time came to plan the official music video for his hit single "Brand New," Ben Rector had a choice to make. He could either spend his budget hiring actors, a hair and makeup team, and a large camera crew, or he could spend it on flying a group of his fans to ride roller coasters and hang out with him for a day. For Rector, that choice was easy. So he tweeted out a 24-hour video contest challenge to his followers.
Two days later, he flew the six winners to Six Flags Over Texas, blowing most of his indie video budget. Once they met up in Arlington, Rector revealed to the group that their theme park adventure would be captured in his new music video. Rector treated the group to dinner the night before filming began so everyone could get to know each other. The next day was spent playing park games, eating funnel cake and, of course, riding roller coasters. When a storm rolled through later that night, shutting down the park, Rector and the winners decided to order pizza to the hotel and holed up all night playing games. Director Jeff Venable (Brad Paisley, Demi Lovato) and Paul Williams, the two-person crew, documented all the action.
"Besides the fact that we were hanging out with one of my favorite artists, it was just a normal day of fun!" recalled Emily, one of the contest winners. "We rode roller coasters too many times, watched "The Bachelorette" when we got rained out, and I was laughing so hard I was crying. Ben is such a genuine, down-to-earth guy, and you could tell he just wanted to get know us and relax."
"I've always felt a little bit strange about music videos - spending a bunch of time and money for me to try and look cool in a music video feels exhausting and self-indulgent. So I called my friend Jeff Venable and he came in with the idea of using the money to do something fun or outrageous," said Ben Rector. "I was genuinely excited (I love roller coasters) and was also excited to get to treat a handful of fans to an adventure, in a setting where we'd actually get to connect and not just awkwardly take a picture. I still can't believe we did it, and honestly I'd be shocked if anyone's ever had more fun making a music video."
Ben Rector - "The Biggest Tour I Have Done So Far Tour"
8/24 - Columbus, OH - Newport Music Hall w/Colony House
8/25 - Louisville, KY - The Louisville Palace w/Colony House
8/26 - Tuscaloosa, AL -Tuscaloosa Amphitheater w/Colony House
8/27 -Nashville, TN - Ascend Amphitheater w/Colony House
9/3 - Freeport, ME - LL Bean Summer Series @ Discovery Park
9/22 - Charlottesville, VA - The Jefferson Theater w/Jacob Whitesides
9/23 - Charlotte, NC - Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre w/Jacob Whitesides
9/24 - Raleigh, NC - Red Hat Amphitheater w/Jacob Whitesides
9/29 - Norfolk, VA - The NorVA w/Jacob Whitesides
9/30 - Atlanta, GA - Chastain Park Amphitheatre w/Jacob Whitesides
10/1 - Orlando, FL - House of Blues w/Jacob Whitesides
10/2 - Oro Valley, AZ - Oro Valley Music Festival
10/6 - Tulsa, OK - Brady Theater w/Jacob Whitesides
10/7 - Edmond, OK - Oklahoma Christian University w/Jacob Whitesides
10/9 - College Station, TX - Rudder Auditorium - Texas A&M w/Jacob Whitesides
10/10 - Dallas, TX - State Fair of Texas
10/14 - New Orleans, LA - House of Blues w/Jacob Whitesides
10/15 - Memphis, TN - Minglewood Hall w/Jacob Whitesides
10/16 - Knoxville, TN - Tennessee Theatre w/Jacob Whitesides
10/21 - Chicago, IL - Chicago Theatre w/Jacob Whitesides
10/22 - Indianapolis, IN - Egyptian Room at Old National Centre w/Jacob Whitesides
10/23 - Minneapolis, MN - State Theatre w/Jacob Whitesides