Bayou City

Houston Get Ready for Three Two Festivals in One Weekend [UPDATE]

Homeshake will bring his lo-fi R&B to the KTRU Outdoor Show.
Homeshake will bring his lo-fi R&B to the KTRU Outdoor Show. Photo by Salina Ladha
Update 9:26 a.m. The Great Texas BBQ Festival postponed due to expected bad weather Saturday.

 Due to a forecast for severe weather in Houston this weekend and safety concerns for the public, the organizers of The Great Texas BBQ Festival, scheduled to take place Saturday April 21st and Sunday April 22nd in downtown Houston’s Sam Houston Park, have postponed the event and rescheduled it for May 19th and 20th at Post HTX located at 401 Franklin St.

Statement from Festival Producer Omar Afra:
“We take the safety of our attendees, staff and talent very seriously, and that’s why we have made the difficult decision to postpone our event and reschedule it for a new date and location. In addition to wanting to put on the safest event possible, it’s also important for us to respect and maintain the beautiful landscape of historic Sam Houston Park and the quality of the fare that our world-class BBQ competitors are producing.”

All purchased and complimentary tickets to The Great Texas BBQ Festival will be honored at the festival’s new date.

The rescheduled lineup of performances and BBQ competitors will be announced within the next week.

Tickets for the rescheduled event may be purchased online at

It doesn't happen often, but sometimes multiple festivals bring plenty of music for you to enjoy at the same time. With festivals becoming the norm in today's society, it's shocking that this doesn't occur more. You see, this weekend you'll have three festivals grace Houston on the same weekend with three very different audiences to delight. To be fair, there are probably more festivals that aren't on our radar, but with the KTRU Outdoor Show, The Great Texas BBQ Festival, and the Hell's Heroes Festival, there's more than enough music to choose from.

Starting off by times, The Great Texas BBQ Festival is a first year event that has a ton of soul, R&B, and country tunes alongside offerings from BBQ cooking teams who are competing for a $20,000.00 cash prize. Taking place right next to downtown in Sam Houston Park, the two day festival will have two stages full of music and plenty to eat and drink. Starting on Saturday April 21, performances from Vinyl Ranch will get things started both days, where Saturday will see plenty of music from blues guitar slinger Clay Melton who kicks off the live sets. Athens' Futurebirds will bring their twangy alt country on after, while Austin's Ali Holder will add her lovely voice afterwards.

Lee Fields & the Expressions will add plenty of soul to The Great Texas BBQ Festival. - PHOTO COURTESY OF PARADIGM
Lee Fields & the Expressions will add plenty of soul to The Great Texas BBQ Festival.
Photo courtesy of Paradigm
Later in the day, Lee Fields & the Expressions will add some R&B magic to the festival, while the heavy throated blue eyed soul of UK artist Ida Mae will perform. South Carolina's Nikki Lane will add her orchestral twang to the fest as well, where Houston's Ancient Cat Society will play their brand of folk for all. The alt country of Lucero will also perform as will Junior Brown before day one is closed out by Morris Day & the Time.

The second day of the festival will also get started by Vinyl Ranch, but this time will get followed by the Gulf Coast swagger of Nick Gaitan. Aside from being the go to bassist for acts like Billy Joe Shaver, and Nikki Hill, his solo music is Houston defined. The Mighty Orq will bring his blues heavy sounds to the fest as well, while Brownout will get loud afterwards.

click to enlarge Dawes should bring people to their feet this weekend. - PHOTO COURTESY OF BILLIONS
Dawes should bring people to their feet this weekend.
Photo courtesy of Billions
Later on, a rare set from Craig Kinsey should delight any gypsy souls while The Suffers will add their soulful energy to the festival. Mike Stinson will also be on hand to add his stamp to the event where L.A.'s Dawes will perform and more than likely delight all who catch their blend of folk, rock, and pop. The never out of style rock and rockabilly of legend Wanda Jackson will also perform before Texas' own Robert Earl Keen closes things out. The festival will have gates at noon on both days. Tickets between $40 and $150 for the two day affair. The $150 price gets you complimentary beverages and BBQ samples inside a VIP tent.

click to enlarge Kodie Shane will school everyone at the KTRU Outdoor Show. - PHOTO COURTESY OF ICM
Kodie Shane will school everyone at the KTRU Outdoor Show.
Photo courtesy of ICM
Of course, if that's not your style, that's okay because the youths at Rice University have you covered on Saturday, April 21 for the 27th Annual KTRU Outdoor Show. It's hard to believe that KTRU is over fifty years old, and this community lead festival is always a highlight to any year it takes place. Headlined by 18 year old Atlanta rapper Kodie Shane, the festival will again break grounds with their diverse lineup. The fest also has a performance from Canada's Homeshake, who popping off everywhere he performs his lo-fi R&B sounds from his latest, Fresh Air. A performance from Alexandria will also take place on the campus show.

click to enlarge Pearl Crush should delight all at Rice University. - PHOTO BY ERIC SAUSEDA
Pearl Crush should delight all at Rice University.
Photo by Eric Sauseda
However, like every year this event has plenty of legs, as CAPYAC will swing by to drop a set while the hip hop of Austin's Magna Carda will also play. Houston acts will also be on the event with the bedroom pop of Pearl Crush, the electro-soul pop of Kay Weathers, and an opening set from Pickleback. The all ages event gets started around 3 p.m.; and it's FREE.

If that were it, that would be one thing, but at White Oak Music Hall, the Hell's Heroes Festival will take place. Bringing some rare appearances from the world of metal, the one day fest has a ton of music coming through the venue. Headlined by L.A. metal legends Cirith Ungol, as well as Toxic Holocaust, both upstairs and downstairs will house sets. The speed metal of Ohio's Midnight will also perform, while the epic metal of Eternal Champion will play their only set in Texas.

Venomous Maximus will bring their intensity to the Hell's Heroes Fest. - PHOTO COURTESY OF ARTIST
Venomous Maximus will bring their intensity to the Hell's Heroes Fest.
Photo courtesy of artist
Houston's Helstar will also play as will Houston's Venomous Maximus. Philadelphia's Summerlands is also on the bill while Kentucky's Savage Master, the throwback of California's Night Demon, and Austin's Militia will all perform. The old school metal of California's Haunt will also make an appearance, and the first two sets of the day are from Houston's Sanctus Bellum and Portland's Bewitcher for the all ages festival. Doors at 3:45 p.m.; tickets $20.

That's about it, three festivals all worth making it out for. If you can move around quickly you can attend all three. If not, the choice will be a difficult one.
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David Garrick is a former contributor to the Houston Press. His articles focus primarily on Houston music and Houston music events.