Which Music Acts Perform at the 2023 Thanksgiving Football Games?


Image of Dolly Parton with ripped jeans standing against a black background.

Dolly Parton – Author: Anne Erickson, Photo credit courtesy of Butterfly Records, photographer Vijat Mohindra

Here are all three musical acts lined up for the three 2023 Thanksgiving football games

Thanksgiving is here, and that means football, football and more football. It’s a real American tradition to watch NFL football all day on Thanksgiving, and there’s nothing wrong with that. As a football fan and sports podcaster, I personally enjoy watching all the games while devouring Thanksgiving treats. But, I’m also a longtime music reporter, so the halftime music is of great interest to me, too.

This year, there are three Thanksgiving football games, starting with the Green Bay Packers at the Detroit Lions at 12:30 p.m. EST. These NFC North rivals are no strangers to Thanksgiving games. While the Lions are favored to win, this should be a good matchup. Next, there’s an NFC East game between the Washington Commanders and the Dallas Cowboys starting at 4:30 p.m. EST. Closing out the day, the San Francisco 49ers will take on longtime rivals the Seattle Seahawks in the evening game, which starts at 8:20 p.m. EST.

Even if you’re not a big football fan, maybe you’ll be interested in the halftime entertainment. Now, this isn’t like the Super Bowl. You’re not going to have a super wild, major production. You won’t even see Taylor Swift make a surprise appearance. But, Thanksgiving game halftime shows can still be thrilling to watch.

Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions at 12:30 p.m. EST

I was really hoping Eminem would do the halftime show for the Detroit Lions game. He’s a huge Lions fan and lives in Detroit, so why not? Well, maybe he’s going to be busy with family, or maybe the gig was just a bit beneath him. Regardless, American rapper and singer Jack Harlow will take the stage and be the halftime performer for Packers vs Lions Thanksgiving Day game. He’s a six-time Grammy-nominated Louisville rapper. Hopefully he will know how to handle this Motor City crowd.

Washington Commanders vs. Dallas Cowboys at 4:30 p.m. EST

Now, the Cowboys and Commanders game has the biggest act of the day. Country music superstar Dolly Parton will perform the halftime show for Commanders vs. Cowboys Thanksgiving game, which is quite a get. Initially, when making the announcement, the Dallas Cowboys announced the news on X (formerly Twitter) and showed a video with Parton ringing a Salvation Army army bell. The Salvation Army has served as the sponsor of the annual Red Kettle Kickoff halftime show for every Cowboys Thanksgiving game for a whopping 27 years.

San Francisco 49ers vs Seattle Seahawks at 8:20 p.m. EST

Finally, DJ, music producer and electronic dance music artist Steve Aoki will serve as the halftime entertainment for the 49ers vs Seahawks game on Thanksgiving. He’s a “two-time Grammy nominee, multi-platinum artist and dance music icon,” according to the Seahawks’ initial announcement. His performance will also bring a light show at primetime on Lumen Field. According to the Seahawks’ initial announcement, fans who are at the game will score light up wristbands upon entry, so they can be part of the halftime show.

As always, it appears rock and metal have been left out of the entertainment this Thanksgiving. Perhaps one day, we’ll see Metallica perform the Super Bowl Halftime Show or at least one of the Thanksgiving Day games, if, of course, their schedules allow.

Anne Erickson
Posted by Anne Erickson | Alternative, Music, Rock News