You bet I'm headed there... Kinda easy for me though since I live in Calgary. It's gonna be insane.
Check out Nashville North on the grounds. (It's the big white tent with the huge lineup) If you're headed downtown check out the tents set up by Cowboys or the Roadhouse. Awesome.
As for the Mardi Gras thing... if you can get your hands on some Stampede beads, bonus, but you don't really need beads to get a show. Just wear a cowboy hat... Like they say:
"What happens at Stampede, stays at Stampede."
Keep on rockin' in the free world.