There are so many festivals in and around the region that support the Texas/Red Dirt music scene by hiring the bands we all love. I asked a few musicians to give me their favorites:
Wade Bowen – “Three fave festivals of mine are MusicFest in Steamboat Springs, CO, Larry Joe Taylor’s Festival in Stephenville, TX, and Idaho’s Braun Brothers Reunion. A sneaky addition to the festival list was one I recently played in Sandpoint, ID called The Festival at Sandpoint. Amazing event and people all the way around.”
Ace Crayton of the Thieving Birds says his top 3 are: “1. Steamboat (MusicFest), 2. Gruene Music and Wine Festival, 3. NAStalliCAR Festival- this is a fictional music festival that our drummer Beau has invented, highlighting NASCAR and Metallica, if it ever comes to fruition it will jump to my number 1 slot.” (I can totally see this #3 happening, can’t you? )
As you can tell, MusicFest is a popular event and the reason so many love it so, really has to do with it’s fearless leader and producer, John Dickson. I asked John why it’s so important that MusicFest supports independent music and he said “that’s not easy to provide a short answer. There’s many reasons why my festival embraces and supports this genuine music scene.”
Here’s one of the most important factors: “I’ve been very fortunate to be involved with this music from the beginning since its *new beginnings in the early 90s and have assisted and witnessed it’s growth first hand to what it is today. It’s a very unique and extremely talented group of musicians with the same goal of producing what I define as ’real music’ that comes natural to them.
The loyal community that supports this music is a genuine and grounded group. I feel privileged and honored to be involved with one of the premiere festivals that brings this community together and provides exposure to the music on an international level. It’s important that the MusicFest at steamboat continues to provide a high level experience and continues to embrace the integrity and character of what is expected and enjoyed by all. The MusicFest gathering is dedicated to the grounded lifestyle that represents this community.”
John is right. The music scene has incredible support and that’s why there are several other events that you need to add to your bucket list:
1. Chilifest, Snook, TX
2. Tommy Alverson’s Family Gathering, Mineral Wells, TX
3. Texas Crawfish Festival, Old Town Spring, TX
4. Kerrville Folk Festival, Kerrville, TX
5. Thomas Michael Riley’s Music Festival, Luckenbach, TX
6. ZiegFest, Houston, TX
7. Austin City Limits, Austin, TX
8. Crudefest, Midland-Odessa, TX
9. Watermelon Thump Festival, Luling, TX
10. KNBT’s Americana Music Jam, Gruene, TX
11. Lone Star Jam, Austin, TX
I know I missed some others, so tell me about your favorite festival!
*new: genuine music has always been present but surfaces in the national spotlight as folks continually fed up with the fluff music thrown at us. Most recently was in the 70s but with the technology today the “trends” and corporate drives these fads cannot overshadow the music that we desire.