The world’s most iconic rock band will play their final North American show this July, and they’ll do it in a very unlikely place: the Missouri Ozarks.

Bass Pro Shops Big Cedar Lodge recently announced that on Sunday, July 21, the Ozarks will rock as the ancient hills, valleys, and lakes never have when the “world’s greatest rock and roll band,” the Rolling Stones, light up Thunder Ridge Nature Arena near Branson for the last performance on their final North American tour. Which means this concert will be truly historic — provided the Stones don’t change their mind and tour the States again in a year or two.

Either way, the show promises to be one of the most memorable and highly anticipated concert events ever in the Midwest region. It is a pairing of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, and one of the most breathtaking outdoor amphitheaters in all of North America.

The Thunder Ridge concert stop is part of the “Hackney Diamonds Tour ’24” for the Rolling Stones, which includes 20 performances in 16 cities. Tickets will go on sale Friday, May 31, and will be available at

“We’re honored to host the Rolling Stones at Thunder Ridge Nature Arena and to showcase the amazing beauty of the Ozarks to music fans of all generations,” said Johnny Morris, longtime conservationist and founder of Bass Pro Shops. “The Stones are the most iconic rock and roll band ever and we know they will put on a remarkable show that no one will ever forget! Their appearance will become a part of the history of this beautiful mountain in the Ozarks.”

The brand-new Thunder Ridge Nature Arena will host the Rolling Stones in July. (Thunder Ridge)

Thunder Ridge a World-Class Destination
Representatives from The Rolling Stones scouted Thunder Ridge by attending the sold-out Garth Brooks concert in September 2022. After attending the show, the advance team reported back that Thunder Ridge — which fuses a 20,000-capacity area into the surrounding 1,200-acre preserve — was one of the most extraordinary and beautiful event venues they had ever seen.

Legendary Night Began on a Fishing Trip
A partnership between the Rolling Stones, the Ozarks, and Johnny Morris is something few would have expected, but, in fact, this is a relationship decades in the making. More than 20 years ago, Stones renowned keyboard and piano player, Chuck Leavell, joined Johnny Morris to celebrate the opening of a Bass Pro Shops near Chuck’s home in Macon, Georgia. Out of this shared experience, Johnny and Chuck developed a special friendship founded on conservation, a love of the outdoors, and a few remarkable shared fishing adventures. And now their adventure continues with a concert unlike anything that has ever been seen in the Ozarks.

Rolling Stones keyboard player Chuck Leavell (right) caught and released this magnificent King Salmon while fishing with Johnny Morris (left) in British Columbia, Canada. (Thunder Ridge)

A noted conservationist, Chuck Leavell is one of only three recipients of an Honorary Forest Ranger award from the U.S. Forest Service and is also a past recipient of the National Outstanding Tree Farmer award. Johnny Morris, meanwhile, is a recipient of the prestigious Audubon Medal, considered by many to be the highest award in conservation. In the 114-year history of Audubon there have been only 57 recipients for this prestigious award.

Awe-Inspiring Nature-Based Entertainment
The Rolling Stones concert at Thunder Ridge Nature Arena underscores Morris’ commitment to create one of the finest outdoor entertainment venues in North America and shares the beauty of his beloved Ozarks with others for generations to come. The property has been placed in a not-for-profit foundation and all proceeds from events at the arena will go to further enhance the facilities and support conservation.

Located near Ridgedale, Missouri (a few miles south of Branson), Thunder Ridge is adjacent to the Bass Pro Shops Big Cedar Lodge on land originally purchased by Johnny Morris about 30 years ago. For the past decade, it has accommodated large gatherings, including concerts by Garth Brooks, Hank Williams Jr., Chris Janson, Dierks Bentley, Tracy Lawrence and other major acts.

Thunder Ridge combines a 20,000-capacity arena with a 1,200-acre nature preserve. (Thunder Ridge)

It also has hosted air shows, hot air balloon shows, the US Open Bowfishing Championship, the US Open National Bass Tournament, the National 4-H Youth Council, rodeos, conventions, symposiums and special events, and is set to host nature-based activities for all ages and interests for years to come.

Inspired by historic national park and forest service fire and wildlife viewing towers, Morris created the new 120-foot “Veterans Tower” as a tribute to all veterans, and especially his father, John A. Morris, a decorated WWII veteran who served in The Battle of The Bulge.

The vision for the future is to continue to host a wide variety of world-class outdoor events.  The Rolling Stones performance is only the latest in a summer full of marquee concerts already announced for Thunder Ridge. This lineup includes:

  • May 25 – Morgan Wallen
  • June 13 – Chris Stapleton
  • June 15 – Fuerza Regida
  • July 21 – The Rolling Stones
  • July 27 – Luke Bryan
  • 31 – Slightly Stooped & Dirty Heads
  • 8 – Imagine Dragons
  • 21 – Pitbull

The Rolling Stones have sold an estimated 250 million albums. (The Rolling Stones)

The Stones Roll On
Over the last 60 years, the Rolling Stones have defined the rock and roll movement, led by vocalist Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards. The group has estimated album sales of 250 million, making them one of the best-selling musical artists of all time.

The Stones have released 30 studio albums, 23 live albums, 12 official compilation albums, and CNN has called them “far and away the most successful act in rock today.” The Grammy Award-winning band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004 and have been ranked by music industry watchdogs Billboard magazine and Rolling Stone magazine as one of the greatest bands of all time.

This tour is in support of their Hackney Diamonds album release from 2022. “Hackney diamonds” is an old London slang term for broken glass, particularly the shards left behind by broken car and shop windows after robberies in the East London area of Hackney.

Author: Shawn Donnelly is the managing editor of Terrain Magazine.

Top image: Courtesy the Rolling Stones.