Madness On Main Pulls Up Stakes For White Oak Bayou

Felipe Galvan of Los Skarnales (far right) rocks Madness On Main 2016 on the Continental Club patio.
Felipe Galvan of Los Skarnales (far right) rocks Madness On Main 2016 on the Continental Club patio.
Photo by Walter Rodrigues/Courtesy of Pure Peach Marketing/Madness On Main
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Madness On Main, the multi-stage local festival heavily weighted towards on-the-cusp Houston-area performers from across the musical spectrum, is headed north. It’s moving about five miles from the previous location but not off Main Street, so no name change is necessary.

Monday, MOM organizers announced that after three years at the Mid-Main compound anchored by the Continental Club and Big Top Lounge, the festival has opted to relocate to the grounds of White Oak Music Hall, including the adjoining Raven Tower. “WOMH provides a multi-stage ‘campus’ with built-in production, that is also extremely pedestrian-friendly,” says Phil Peterson, one of the festival’s producers. “And [it’s] an exciting ‘new’ scene that we wanted to explore.”

Scheduled for May 28, the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, MOM plans to host more than 20 performers on three stages, including White Oak’s upstairs and downstairs stages. The third location remains undetermined due to pending litigation against the property; several nearby residents have filed a lawsuit against White Oak’s owners, hoping for an injunction that would shut down any future outdoor concerts at Raven Tower or White Oak’s outdoor stage — known as “The Lawn” — and more than $1 million in damages. The case is scheduled to come to trial on May 15.

Undeterred, Peterson says MOM’s third stage will either be a more “intimate” setup on the Lawn or the patio area of Raven Tower, which has been largely quiet for several months (save a few DJs) while the venue is being remodeled. “We have to wait on the results of pending litigation for that decision, but either way, the ‘fest’ atmosphere will absolutely be in full effect,” vows Peterson.

This year’s performers reflect the Houston scene's ongoing fertility, as seen in four distinct communities: hip-hop (Flyger Woods, Mark Drew, Lyric Michelle, PersephOne, Jax/IV Project); punk/indie-rock (Something Fierce, Handsomebeast, Phantom Royals, Ruiners, Flower Graves, Mantra Love); avant-garde music (LIMB, Moths, Traci Lavois Thiebaud); and soul/R&B (Bayou City Funk, Soul Creatures, Texture: Yellow).

From further out of town come Galveston roots-reggae group Dem; Austin’s Hector Ward & The Big Time, Sailor Poon, and Colombian-raised singer-songwriter Kiko Villamizar; and San Antonio’s Lloronas. Offstage, MOM is also planning an art market featuring more than 30 booths in the parking lot between White Oak and Raven Tower, and an onsite installation by Houston artist Donkeeboy (who helped us out at last year’s HPMAs) with the theme of Tex-Mex culture in Houston music.

Finally, MOM hopes to encourage Houston’s budding festival fashionistas with a kids’ fashion swap and a panel discussion on the role of fashion and style at events like this one, says festival publicist Marissa Saenz of Pure Peach Marketing. “In the same fashion (no pun intended) as our Music component, we are highlighting emerging new talent by giving them a kick-ass stage and elements to build their portfolio,” she says.

Regardless of the location, Madness On Main has quickly become one of the true highlights of Houston's festival calendar, at a nearly unbeatable price. Tickets are now on sale for $15 in advance, either at this link or directly from one of the festival’s acts, or $25 the day of. Kids 12 and under are free. See the MOM Facebook event page for more details.

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