Omar Afra

  • Blogs

    January 1, 2014

    FPH NYE With Girl Talk, George Clinton, etc. at Sam Houston Park, 12/31/2013

    Free Press Houston New Years Eve Sam Houston Park December 31, 2013 When gates opened at 4 p.m. Tuesday, it felt a bit early to start partying on New Years Eve. That's still hours later than any festival normally begins, true, but Tuesday the Free Press Summer Fest team turned New Year's Eve into t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 4, 2013

    UPDATED: Free Press Summer Fest Wants Longer Hours, Possibly Another Day

    UPDATE (Monday, 1:15 p.m.:): adds comments from FPSF's Omar Afra. Free Press Summer Festival has decided it wants to grow. Earlier today, the popular Houston outdoor music festival -- which drew an estimated 81,000 people to Eleanor Tinsley Park this past June, the first sellout in its five-year h ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 19, 2013

    Fitz Tales: Great Moments From Club's "Grand Re-Opening"

    All this week and into next, Fitzgerald's is celebrating its "Grand Re-Opening," marking the third anniversary of the venerable Heights venue's much-discussed acquisition by the powers behind Free Press Summer Fest. We asked a few Fitz staff members to share a few of their favorite stories from thes ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 3, 2013

    UPDATED Free Press Summer Fest: The Worst Things Inflicted Upon Us, 2013

    UPDATED (Monday, 2:05 p.m.). Regarding the bottled-water situation and prices, with comments from FPSF director Omar Afra. See "Water Rights" on Page 2. Geto Boys Get an "Incomplete" The absolute and definitive one goddamn thing I was truly looking forward to seeing at this year's festival was a re ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 24, 2013

    This Week In Food Blogs: Whataburger and H-E-B Just Made Your Day

    Houstonia: The absolute worst news of the week comes to us from Robb Walsh, who writes in Houstonia's Gastronaut food blog that the cozy little Olde Towne Kolaches in Memorial has baked its last poppyseed kolache. No word on why the bakery closed, but the original location on 12037 Northwest Freeway ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 9, 2012

    HPMA Ceremony Heavy With Winners, Light on Drama

    The 2012 Houston Press Music Award Winners The Houston Press Music Awards ceremony is a little like a family reunion where you go just to see what your crazy cousin from Temple might do: Will he pass out on the playground teeter-totter, throw some punches at your uncle, or be a big hit on the dance ... More >>

  • Music

    May 10, 2012

    Houston's Cryptic New Noise Ordinance

    Confusing new law has bar and club owners screaming.

  • Blogs

    March 27, 2012

    Summer Fest Ticket Prices Go Up At 10 p.m.; More Talent "Soon-Ish"

    Free Press Summer Fest is increasing ticket prices tonight, with a promise to compensate by adding more talent to the two-day music festival on the banks of Buffalo Bayou. According to FPSF's email blast this morning, the price of passes will go up at 10 p.m. tonight, and the festival will announce ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 26, 2011

    Chafing 101: Rocks Off's 2011 Music Festival Odyssey

    Music festivals are now a part of our lives, just like deadlines, angry commenters, lack of sleep, and eye fatigue. And eating at our desk. That sucks. But at least we have food and a desk, right? Rocks Off ventured all over the state -- OK, really mostly Austin -- to cover festivals for the blog. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 21, 2011

    Music Lovers, Police Gather at Fitzgerald's to Talk Noise Ordinance

    Photos by Matthew KeeverOmar Afra​As two Houston Police officers walked onstage Tuesday night at Fitzgerald's to address complaints about the city's recently amended noise ordinance, tensions were high, and the crowd silent. Before the police spoke, Fitzgerald's owner and Free Press Houston ma ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 21, 2011

    Houston Noise Ordinance Debated At Fitzgerald's

    Photos by Matthew KeeverOmar Afra​Tensions were high and the crowd was silent at Fitzgerald's last night as two Houston Police officers walked onstage to address complaints about the city's recently amended noise ordinance, tensions were high, and the crowd silent. Before the police spoke, Fit ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 6, 2011

    State Of The Scene Part 1: Growth, Splintering & Change

    Fatal Flying Guilloteens, left, in 2007 and their descendents Weird Party (right) at Summer Fest 2011​Thursday is the fourth anniversary of the Live Earth concerts, which Rocks Off remembers today less for any of the music - Madonna and Gogol Bordello is the only thing that readily comes to mi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 6, 2011

    State Of The Scene Part 2: Welcome To Middle Finger City

    Craig HlavatyOne Man Wrecking Crew: B L A C K I E at SXSW 2011​Welcome back. Before we proceed with our "State of the Scene" discussion, Rocks Off would like to say a couple of things we didn't get to in our print manifesto this week. The first concerns our former city of residence. Rocks Off ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 6, 2011

    Summer Fest Sunday: Peak Fun With B L A C K I E, Hayes Carll, Guitar Wolf, Yeasayer, Robert Ellis & More

    Jim BrickerGood ole boy done good: Hayes Carll had a productive homecoming.​Chris Gray: Not long after I got to Summer Fest Sunday, I spotted festival honcho Omar Afra finishing up one of local musician/yogi Tyagaraja's yoga workshops in the wooden glade known temporarily as the Budweiser Beer ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 17, 2011

    How Much Do Local Bands Get Paid At Shows?

    Hollywood FLOSS on FacebookHollywood FLOSS​Most of us go to concerts, stand in the crowd and gaze in awe at performers onstage. While we're there, we might even become a little green with envy. Lights, cameras, confidence and everyone's attention - who wouldn't want that? Rocks Off, however, w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 14, 2011

    Weezer, Ween, Sharon Jones, Bun B Head Summer Fest Lineup

    "I'm gonna pull out some shit on stage that will make the Flaming Lips cry and possibly retire in awe." - Hayes Carll, via @hprocksoff GroovehouseYeasayer at House of Blues, April 2010​Weezer, Ween, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Yeasayer and Houston rappers Z-Ro and Bun B head up the lineup ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 28, 2011

    Artopia, Honky Tonk Blood & A Gang Of Music News

    ​Another Friday, another Magnolia City Mixtape, assembled just for you. Seriously, we put in a lot of time crawling through the internet just to bring everyone up to date on the scraps of local music news floating out there in the cyber-abyss. For this week's soundtrack, how's about this inst ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 23, 2010

    Houston Music's People Of The Year

    Craig Hlavaty​Editor's Pick: Grandfather Child. It was a good year for the blues all around - the Black Keys' well-deserved radio breakthrough with Brothers; Lightnin' Hopkins' long-overdue historical marker in Third Ward - but Lucas Gorham's crew is a razor-sharp reminder that the best blues ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 22, 2010

    Fitzgerald's: No. 3 Local Music Story Of 2010

    This week Rocks Off is counting down the top stories in the Houston music scene this year. The slow, sad demise of Meridian, which may have reached its end Tuesday, is No. 4. Photos by Jim BrickerBlack Congress at Fitzgerald's grand re-opening, September 23. See here for a slideshow.​It hit t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 16, 2010

    An Important Health-Care Message From Delicious Milk

    File Under: It seemed like a good idea at the time... ​Wednesday night, after the first of two Houston Press holiday parties Rocks Off will be attending this week (no karaoke at this one), we thought it would be a sound decision to go see Robert Ellis & the Boys at Fitzgerald's. It was. Elli ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 30, 2010

    Roky Moon & BOLT Set Free Show For December 18

    Photos by Marc BrubakerBOLT drummer Jeoaf Johnson, who had no trouble being heard Saturday.​At Saturday night's Roky Moon & BOLT LP release show at the Mink, the PA was blown out, rendering the sets from the Ton Tons and BOLT without vocals or much sound at all aside from the amps. The headlin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 24, 2010

    Fitzgerald's Reopens With A Hint Of Things To Come

    Photos by Jim Bricker​For more photos from Thursday's reopening, see our slideshow here. "I want this place to be the nexus of local music. It's going to be the anti-Mangos," Omar Afra told Rocks Off as he points out the changes made to the second floor of Fitzgerald's on Thursday night as it ... More >>

  • Music

    September 23, 2010
  • Blogs

    August 31, 2010

    New Fitzgerald's Team Releases First Music Calendar

    Update (1:56 p.m.): According to Katial, Summer Fest is scheduled for two days in 2011 and the listing on Pegstar is a typo. ​Although several of the shows have been listed on their promoters' Web sites for a while, the new owner-operators of Fitzgerald's released the club's first live-music ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 19, 2010

    What If The KTRU And Fitzgerald's Sales Were Reversed?

    ​Rocks Off is quite keen on alternate realities, the kind where The Joker is actually a superhero or Spider-Man joined the Fantastic Four. That kind of thing. This summer has seen two of Houston's seemingly most-stable institutions thrown into complete chaos. First, Sara Fitzgerald turned ove ... More >>

  • Music

    August 5, 2010

    Died and Gone to Houston

    City is ready for another honky-tonk close-up.

  • Blogs

    July 30, 2010

    Galveston Deep Thinker Disses Fitzgerald's

    Every day Rocks Off trolls the tubes of you in search of videos to share. If you have something that you think deserves to be video of the day, send a link to jef_rouner at yahoo dot com. PaulS via Flickr​Houston is twitterpated over the shift in management over at Fitzgerald's. Will Omar Afr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 30, 2010

    Houston Scenesters Sound Off On The Fitzgerald's Changeover

    claren44 via Flickr​Nationally, the music buzz may be all about Kanye's somewhat belated discovery of Twitter, Justin Bieber on CSI and the "Teknoviking 2.0," but this week all anyone in Houston seems to be talking about is the impending Fitzgerald's takeover by Free Press Summer Fest partners ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 29, 2010

    Some Fitzgerald's Acts Concerned Over Ownership Change

    Courtesy of The Last Place You LookThe Last Place You Look​Earlier this week, as Rocks Off reported, Free Press Summer Fest partners Omar Afra and Jagi Katial bought Fitzgerald's from the historic Heights venue's longtime owner Sara Fitzgerald. This is exciting news for many fans and local mus ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 27, 2010

    Free Press Summer Fest Team Taking Over Fitzgerald's

    4:38 p.m.: UPDATED with more information from Afra. Matthew KeeverThe crowd dances to Brave Combo at Fitzgerald's 33rd anniversary this past Saturday.​Free Press Houston editor/publisher Omar Afra and owner Jagi Katial, the principal figures behind Free Press Summer Fest, announce ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 3, 2010

    Rocks Off's Handy Summerfest Survival Guide

    Shelby Hohl​There's a slim chance you may have already heard that our distinguished competition, Free Press Houston, is throwing a little shindig this weekend, which they have for some reason chosen to call Summerfest. We understand it's some kind of outdoor festival and a couple of bands fr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 22, 2010

    It's Not Easy Being Green: How Venues And Festivals Handle All That Garbage

    Marco TorresSold-out Jay-Z crowd = A lot of trash at Toyota Center.​ On any given night, 18,000 to 25,000 people fill the Toyota Center, whether to watch the Rockets play or to see Lady Gaga in full regalia. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American produces more than ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 14, 2010

    Feast Your Eyes: A Summerfest Poster Gallery By 14 Top-Notch Local Artists

    Shane Hillman​Rocks Off may have mentioned it before, but we're of the opinion that Houston has some of the finest poster artists working anywhere today, and that we're in the middle of a concert-poster renaissance. Now we know for sure. Besides Shane Hillman's main poster above, which we've alrea ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 1, 2010

    Wowee Zowee! Summerfest and Pegstar Do It Again!

    ​ Since the Summerfest 2010 announcement in February, Houston has been abuzz about the festival's line-up, heading up the Flaming Lips and Girl Talk. Word came down last night that another name has been added to the list of headliners. Let's just say that you summer babes may have to cut your hair ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 15, 2010

    It's True: Flaming Lips Headlining Summerfest In First Houston Show In 8 Years

    In case you hadn't already heard (like on our Twitter feed), the Flaming Lips are this year's headliner for Free Press Summerfest, the Oklahoma psych-rockers' first Houston appearance since their joint tour with Beck stopped at Jones Hall back in 2002. The Free Press' Omar Afra and Pegstar's Jagi K ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 26, 2010

    Free Press Releases Partial Summer Fest 2010 Lineup

    Would be nice, wouldn't it?​ ...or did they? Rocks Off has the slightest feeling Omar Afra and friends might be messing with us. But who knows? We bet they're right about Geoffrey Muller's bands, though.

  • Music

    November 19, 2009

    Honky-Tonk Revival

    Is Houston ready for country? Again?

  • Blogs

    November 16, 2009

    Free Press Staffer's Death Darkens Westheimer Block Party ​The first bit of news to report from this weekend's Westheimer Block Party is not a happy one at all. Late Saturday night, Free Press Houston staffer Lee Powers, 19, fell to his death from the Hazard St. bridge over U.S. 59. Powers, who also worked as a cook at Mang ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 16, 2009

    Aftermath: Puppet Shows, Neo-Rastas, Freddie Gonorrhea, Black Congress and an Impromptu Nap Saturday at Westheimer Block Party

    Marc Brubaker​ Saturday's Westheimer Block Party began on a wobbly note, as most music festivals do with fans and staff still trying to find their bearings, aided by alcohol or otherwise. The scene on the ground seemed chaotic just an hour into the first day of the event. Organizer and Free Press ... More >>

  • Music

    November 12, 2009

    The Lost Weekend?

    Now expanded to two days, the Westheimer Block Party faces its steepest challenge yet.

  • Music

    August 13, 2009

    Coming of Age

    Against long, long odds and punishing heat, Free Press Summer Fest is a hit.

  • Blogs

    August 10, 2009

    Aftermath: Free Press Summer Fest at Eleanor Tinsley Park

    Photos by Amber Roussel/ Click here for slideshows from Day 1 and Day 2​ They said it couldn't be done, that no one in Houston would dream of spending two days in the punishing August heat at an outdoor music festival.An anonymous Of Montreal member shows off his tiger style.​Rightfully (somewha ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 7, 2009

    MP3 of the Day: Yes, There Are Summer Fest Tickets Left

    ​Rocks Off just got off the phone with Free Press Houston editor/publisher Omar Afra, the Bill Graham of Saturday and Sunday's Summer Fest. After disguising himself as "that guy from that punk band you wrote those bad things about" - dude, you're going to have to be more specific than that - Afra ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 3, 2009

    Free Press Houston Announces "Summer Fest" Line-Up

    The chill dudes across town at Free Press Houston dropped an awesome bomb this afternoon, announcing their two-day "Summer Fest" shindig, set to go down August 8 and 9 at Eleanor Tinsley Park. Tickets are at $7 for each day, with the line-up spread out over those two days. The headliners that Edit ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 6, 2009

    The Last Roundup: Paul Weller, South Memphis String Band, Indian Jewelry, Robert Ellis and More

    Here's another installment of what's been blowing up other Houston music Web sites' skirts recently. If you'd like us to look yours over (your site, not your skirt, though we can talk about that too), email Breakfast on Tour caught the brand-new South Memphis String Band at the ... More >>

  • Music

    April 30, 2009

    Fresh Fruit

    Mango's attempts to resurrect Westheimer's bohemian past.

  • Blogs

    April 2, 2009

    Mango's Becomes Full-Time Music Venue Next Weekend

    The Houston scene has another music venue in the mix, as Mango's Café on Westheimer has its grand opening next Friday with a huge show headlined by the Sideshow Tramps. Took 'em that long to get the joint cleaned up from the Homopolice show, we imagine, and let's hope they got the restroo ... More >>

  • Music

    March 26, 2009
  • Blogs

    November 20, 2008

    Readers In Ireland Sadly Misinformed About Houston

    You know the old saying – “any publicity is good publicity.” But might not some publicity be utterly pointless? We ask, because we have come across some that seems to be just that. Now ordinarily, a little blurb about your event in a paper like Dublin’s The Irish Independent would be a PR ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 20, 2006

    Seasons Mother-effin' Greetings!

    Courtesy of Million Year Dance Spend a little time with Million Year Dance today. When we got the invite to Free Press Houston's "Holiday Bash & Staff Infection," with its "Seasons Motherfucking Greetings!" banner, we figured this would be one kuh-razy night, given that it's a Free Press party. ... More >>

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