The first Outlaws and Legends Music Fest will begin Saturday at Joe Allen’s Lytle Bend Ranch.
The 17 artists, playing 9 sets, will start performing at 10 a.m., playing until 1 a.m.
Mark Powell, director of Outlaws and Legends, originally planned for the event to be a venue just for him and his friends to perform, but then he asked himself why it couldn’t be bigger.
“My brother and I have been playing music since we were in high school back in ’95. We met a lot of artists along the way and thought this would be a fun way to perform,” Powell said. “Originally it was just going to be an unplugged deal to bring some fun to Abilene, but now we have a bunch of big names and help put Abilene on the map.”
Powell chose the name Outlaws and Legends to help usher in a resurgence of outlaw music, a subgenre of country music, as well as to try to present the new Legends of country music.
“Outlaws and Legends will showcase outlaws like David Allan Coe and legends like Stoney LaRue,” Powell said. “It’s a resurgence of the Wille and Waylon outlaw movement. It’s kind of like we’re recycling that and bringing their kind back.”
Powell said this festival is unique because multiple artists will perform on the stage at the same time.
“The idea is to integrate artists up on stage to create multi-artist sets,” Powell said. “We are getting musicians to work with other musicians. This gives fans the rare opportunity to see different combinations.”
The last hour of the festival features a grand finale with all the artists performing on stage together.
Tickets to the event cost $35 in advance and $50 at the door. A college and military discount, for both active and inactive members, will lower ticket prices to $30. Group prices also are available in groups of 15 for $450.
The last chance to buy $35 tickets will be Saturday at 7 p.m., when the gates of the festival open for an informal acoustic show. Powell, along with fellow festival musicians Larry Joe Taylor, Matt Martindale, Bleu Edmondson and Jerrod Medulla, will perform for KBCY 99’s West Texas Friday night program.
Outlaws and Legends already has sold 5,000 tickets and is completely sold out of RV and tailgating parking spots. Powell expects for around 2,000 more tickets to be sold but hopes General Admissions sales as well.
“It’s been received really well outside of Abilene,” Powell said. “We have a lot of tourists coming in from California, Florida, Tennessee and Arizona.”
A part of the proceeds will support Disability Resources Incorporated, a group that provides residential care and vocational training to disabled individuals. Powell said DRI will not lose any money on this event and that he is hoping to be able to cut a check for them for $50,000 at the end of the concert.
Several ACU social clubs will be helping out at the event to earn service hours. The Women’s clubs of Ko Jo Kai and Sigma Theta Chi both are volunteering to help, as well as the men’s club Sub T-16 and Galaxy.
Jeremy Winkler, senior accounting major from North Richland Hills and president of Sub T-16, said many in his club plan to attend not only for the service hours but also to hear the music.
“Mark came and spoke to us at a club meeting, and 15 or so of us decided to go and volunteer, “Winkler said. “It sounded like a fun way to get hours and hear good music. It was a win-win for everyone.”
Club members will be helping out with parking, security and some even are helping out on stage.
DJ Dallas Wayne and comedian Clinton Pickens will host Outlaws and Legends.
The 15-hour music marathon also will be the third major music event broadcast on Outlaw Radio on Sirius XM radio.
“This has been a long work in progress, and I’m really excited about the results so far,” Powell said. “I know that whoever comes will get their money’s worth. We got a lot of things unique to this event that you can’t get at another music festival.”