Event Review: Larry Joe Taylor Texas Music Festival
Another year has passed and the music festival that began 29 years ago shows no signs of slowing down. The Larry Joe Taylor Texas Music Festival and Chili Cook-off started as a way to provide both the artists and fans a place to meet on common ground. The first few years the festival was targeting die-hard fans but steadily the festival grew. Soon the numbers increased and fans where now bringing their children and making a family vacation out of the 5 day festival. The festival brings in fans exceeding over 60,000 and host over 50 performers. This caused one issue, the original location was not able to handle such large crowds. The festival has moved several times from its original location in Mingus, Texas to its permanent home at Melody Mountain Ranch, a beautiful and spacious 380 acre spread located 5 miles north of Stephenville, Texas. Sponsors such as Colorado High Vodka, Bud Lite, TexStar Ford and dozens more help pull off this amazing festival.
As the children turned into young adults they began bringing their friends and the crowd rapidly became a diverse mix of all ages and backgrounds. Acts like Pat Green were bringing in the college crowd and guys like Rusty Wier, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Steven Fromholz were helping bring the Progressive Country crowd out of hibernation. The lesser-known singer/songwriters had the opportunity to perform in front of these large and diverse crowds and develop their own fans. You will spot the older fans cooking barbeque and chili for the young ones who arrive with nothing but a three-day-supply of beer. Old or young country music was reaching fans of all ages. The festival reached a level of national recognition for “NEW” artist to be recognized. Performing Songwriter Magazine has even ranked it as one of the Top Four Music Festivals in the state of Texas. The event increasingly gained a reputation for being the springboard for many talented but unknown singer/songwriters as well as showcasing well known artists from the past and present.
If you are looking to discover up and coming country stars like Conquer Entertainments Mark Mckinney who has been invited to perform for 8 years now, take a trip to “Melody Mountain”.
We had an opportunity to chat with Mark to get his feedback on the event.
“I feel It has grown over the last several years, and the facility, production level and stage have really been amped up. My highlight over the weekend is visiting with fellow touring Texas artists. It’s like attending a big family reunion. It’s a time where we are all in the same place for a day or two and we can catch up and visit. After the show that night we join our friends and fans around the campsite fires while professional singers and up and comers pass the guitar around all night long singing and drinking at hundreds of after party jams. It’s a truly fun event.”
You will experience the festival traditions that they have kept year after year. Traditions such as camping out at one of the 400 sites, thousands of square feet set aside for picking, campfires for storytelling and a 8,000 square foot stage showcasing only the best original music in the nation.