Bayou City

Fall Festivals Worth Your Time and Money (Maybe)

Festivals are said to be one of the last remaining areas of the music business that make any real money anymore. It makes sense — people continue to forsake buying records in favor of streaming, and single-concert ticket prices continue to strain many pocketbooks, but festivals remain attractive by offering multiple stages of performers for relatively little cost; there’s also the intangible festival “experience” that is difficult to reproduce at any other type of live entertainment. Or else it’s the drugs.

Our fall festival season is already off to a good start after last weekend’s Untapped Houston brought large crowds to Discovery Green for bands like Cold War Kids, Deer Tick and Twin Shadow, not to mention the more than 250 varieties of beer on offer. This weekend the more locally focused Yes, Indeed! sets up shop on the Mid-Main block home to the Continental Club, Big Top Lounge and Alley Kat, offering some 30 acts for a mere $20 at the door. From there on out, one of these type of events is happening almost every weekend through the end of the year, and even those that follow an even older model than the multi-stage music festival — the county fair — are designed to maximize their customers’ entertainment value. Turkey legs sold separately.

Ends this weekend, Pasadena Municipal Fairgrounds (7601 Red Bluff Rd.)
Idea: Gilley's may be long gone, but urban cowboys still flock to Pasadena's annual boot-scoot, now in its 66th year.
Lineup: Aaron Watson (tonight); Roger Creager (Saturday)
Cost: $15/20 (advance)/$20/25 (gate)

Saturday, Mid-Main (doors at 5 p.m.)
Idea: Founded in 2012, this mini-festival squeezes spreads about 30 mostly local acts over three stages in the Continental Club compound, and has emerged as one of the best-curated events of its kind in town.
Lineup: Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath; Wrestlers; Young Mammals; Electric Attitude; The Wheel Workers; Moji; Second Lovers; Walker Lukens Music & the Sidearms; Wandering Bufaleros; Bee Caves; Black Kite; Guilla; Handsomebeast; FLCON FCKER; Jealous Creatures, etc.
Cost: $15 (advance)/$20 (gate)

Saturday, Lee & Joe Jamail Skate Park (103 Sabine, 6-9 p.m.)
Idea: Free annual event toasts the longstanding punk-rock/skateboarding alliance by pairing bands and skaters in front of the scenic Houston skyline.
Lineup: Khobretti; Talk Sick Brats
Cost: nil

September 24-26, Fitzgerald's
Idea: Ossuary Industries' three-day splatterfest featuring 40-plus bands trying to out-extreme one another. Those names...
Lineup: Uncleansed; Severance; Spectral Manifest; Soils of Fate; Necrotic Disgorgement; Dysentery; Lethal Injection; Limbsplitter; Church of Disgust; Perceptions of Torment; Deflowered; Waco Jesus; Dehumanized; P.L.F.; Composted; Intracranial Butchery; Torn the Fuck Apart; Impaled Offering, etc.
Cost: $1 (pre-party)/$35 (single-day)/$65 (both days)

September 25-October 4, Fort Bend County Fairgrounds (4310 Hwy. 36 S., Rosenberg)
Idea: A flashback to a few generations ago, when this teeming patch of suburbia was prime fishing and farming territory.
Lineup: Glen Templeton; Charlie Robison; Mo Pitney; Jon Pardi; Stephen Chadwick; Tracy Byrd; Cory Morrow; Daryle Singletary
Cost: free (children five and under)/$5 (children ages 6-11)/$12 (advance)/$15 (gate)/$40 (season ticket)

October 9-17, Brazoria County Fairgrounds (901 S. Downing Rd., Angleton)
Idea: Minus the pop superstars, almost everything that happens at NRG Park in March — down to the auctions and the mutton-bustin'  — except in Angleton.
Lineup: Randy Rogers Band; Cody Johnson; Aaron Watson; Junior Gordon; Earl Thomas Conley; Grupo Vizion; Grupo Vida; Step Rideau
Cost: $5 or free (children under 13)/$12 (advance)/$15 (gate)/$55 (season pass)
Acadia Bar & Grill, October 17
Idea: Shredded throats and shredding riffs as more than 15 metal-type bands from Houston and elsewhere descend on the 1960 corridor.
Lineup: Crowned By Fire; Downfall 2012; Sons of Blackwater; Five Eyes Wide; Theory of Thieves; Apothica; Twelve Years Driven; Thraxis, etc.
Cost: $15

Sam Houston Race Park, October 17
Idea: Instead of routing a brace of top Texas country and Americana acts through the area's small to mid-size venues one at a time, why not dump 'em all at the racetrack and let the Ziegenbock flow?
Lineup: Robert Earl Keen; Randy Rogers Band; Kevin Fowler; Whiskey Myers; Justin Townes Earle; Sunny Sweeney; Stoney LaRue; Wade Bowen; Cody Jinks, etc.
Cost: $25 (advance)/$30 (gate)/$80 (VIP)

Sam Houston Race Park, October 24-25
Idea: The annual Halloween-themed festival put on by Nightculture and Donnie Disco Presents combines more than 40 acts along with insane fan costumes and elaborate stage setups to make it the premier EDM event of the season, if not the year.
Lineup: Jack U (Skrillex & Diplo); Above & Beyond; DJ Snake; Steve Aoki; Adam Beyer; Benny Benassi; Borgore; Cash Cash; Chainsmokers; Destructo; Green Velvet; Seven Lions; Tritonal; W&W, etc.
Cost: $139 (two-day GA pass)/$239 (VIP)  (JACK GORMAN)

HWF artist mix by Def Perception's DJ BabyRoo & Raymond A

Warehouse Live/”EaDo Party Park,” November 21-22
Idea: More eclectic and less hipster-oriented fall cousin of Free Press Summer Fest; ace in the hole is a score of rising regional and national comedy stars.
Lineup: Metric; GWAR, Ghostland Observatory; T.J. Miller; Doug Benson; GZA (performing Liquid Swords); Grupo Fantasma; Lil Flip; Saint Motel; The Ataris; Heartless Bastards; Shock G; Brooks Wheelan; Quintron & Miss Pussycat; B L A C K I E; Gio Chamba; thelastplaceyoulook; Fat Tony; Dead to the World; Not In the Face; Catch Fever; To Whom It May; Satellite d'Homme; Def Perception; Say Girl Say, etc.
Cost: $55 (two-day GA pass)/$175 (Big Shot VIP)*/$450 (Baller VIP)*

Walters Downtown, December 4-5
Idea: Hatetank Productions' annual mosh-pitters' delight hits a big milestone this year — 15 years of circle pits, bloody noses and brotherhood.
Lineup: Foundation (last show); Dirty Rotten Imbeciles; All Out War; Drown; Bitter End; Will to Live; Venomous Maximus; Pulled Under; Dress Code; the United Races; Mind Kill, etc.
Cost: $10-$38

December 19-20, Silver Street Studios
Idea: Free Press Houston hopes the performers behind its promised fusion of cutting-edge music and avant-garde digital art justify the sight-unseen admission prices.
Lineup: TBD; expected any day
Cost: $135 (GA)/$425 (VIP)
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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray