American Idol audition tour making a stop in Charleston

Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Ryan Seacrest and Luke Bryan will all be returning for the upcoming idol season.

CHARLESTON, W.Va.– Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, Ryan Seacrest and hundreds of talented individuals will be in Charleston on Sept. 15 for the very last audition tour stop of the 2nd season of “American Idol” on ABC.

Alisa Bailey, president and CEO of the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau

Five hundred potential contestants will be auditioned at Haddad Riverfront Park. Currently, Charleston is the smallest city Idol will be visiting, and CVB President Alisa Bailey said that they are looking forward to the event.

“We’re very excited. It’ll be an exciting weekend when they come in,” Bailey said. “We’re having Charleston Streetfest that weekend, and so, you know, the 500 will definitely be coming in to audition and probably their friends and family, because it’s a pretty big deal.”

In 2002, “American Idol” got its start and became one of the most popular shows on television. Idol has helped create the careers of Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jordin Sparks and many others.

Many watched the show for its judges, most notable being Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell. After 15 seasons on Fox, the show ended but was revived by ABC after a year and started again in 2017.

Charleston was named on June 6 as one of the 20 locations for auditions. Millions watch “American Idol” each week, and those same viewers will get to see what the city is like.

“We’re just prepared to enjoy that Charleston will be the focus and will get national television attention because of it, so it’s just a very exciting time. It’s very appropriate that the auditions will occur at Haddad Riverfront Park, because that’s such a great entertainment venue for locals, and we’re just really proud that will be the backdrop for all this national attention,” Bailey said.

Since the date is an open call audition, anyone over the age of 15 can try out for their shot at becoming America’s next star. With lots of visitors expected to be heading to the city, Bailey said that Charleston has a lot to offer them.

“Charleston is just a great, walk-able city. You can hear live music here every night. There’s super, super dining options downtown, and I think that’s why Idol picked a downtown location, because they wanted to be sure that people enjoyed themselves not just for the audition but would enjoy the destination,” she said.

Additional audition cities could be added in the coming weeks.

For more information on audition eligibility, forms or terms and conditions, visit

Story by Jordyn Johnson

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