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Thursday, June 01, 2023

Gator Growl adds Sister Hazel to the entertainment roster

The push for big-name Gator Growl entertainers continues with officials' announcement that two members of southern rock band Sister Hazel will host and sing the national anthem for the homecoming pep rally.

Lead singer Ken Block and guitarist Drew Copeland, both Gainesville natives, will join comedian Joel McHale and the Goo Goo Dolls for the pep rally at 7 p.m. Nov. 4 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

Florida Blue Key is paying Block and Copeland $5,000.

Sister Hazel is best known for its 1997 single "All for You," which was in the top 20 songs on Billboard's Hot 100 list. The band's 2009 album, "Release," reached No. 37 on the Billboard 200 list.

Gator Growl producer Aaron Heger said the UF Gospel Choir has performed for free in the past. He said bringing in a new national anthem act is part of an effort to change Gator Growl and bring in a bigger crowd. Fireworks will be brought back for the first time in four years, he said, and live skits will return to the show. In addition, the stage will be set up at the student section of the stadium, and the audience will sit on the alumni side. The stage previously has been set up at the north end zone.

Heger promised an entertaining show.

"[Students should] expect a very high-energy show from the moment they sit in their seats to the second they leave the stadium," he said.

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