It's like those non-sleeping folks over at the Free Press Houston are psychic, I swear. Just the other night I happened to be skimming through a recent issue of Outside, where they list out all the "big"/"cool" music festival scattered 'round the country this summer, and it was getting me down.
"Why the fuck don't we, the 3rd-biggest damn city in the country, have a decent music fest of our own?," I mused grumpily. "I mean, I love the Free Press Block Parties and the KTRU Outdoor Show and the Houston Press Awards, but none of those are a Bonnaroo or ACL or Sasquatch! or Pitchfork or Wakarusa or Coachella. Hell, it seems like all you need these days is a goofy name, and poof!, you've got yourself a music festival. How many does Austin have, alone? Four? Surely we could scrape together something, right?"
And yea, verily, the High and Most Munificent Gods of All Things Musical smiled down on me from their lofty abode in the skies. (And by "me," I mean "everybody in the greater Houston area who likes music and doesn't think Good Music begins and ends with what gets played on our shitty, shitty mainstream radio stations.)
Turns out the FPH crew have been working on this very freaking thing -- like I said, psychic. They're calling it the Free Press Summerfest (the name of which hopefully won't get 'em into hot water/confusion with the other "Summerfest," held up in Milwaukee every year), and holy fuck, does it look awesome. From Saturday, August 8th to Sunday, August 9th, Eleanor Tinsley Park (that's the one on Buffalo Bayou, wedged in between Memorial & Allen Parkway just west of downtown) will vibrate to the sounds of a handful of top-shelf, big-name-indie out-of-towners and nearly every good band in Houston right now, all for a measly $7 for a day pass or $12 for both days (that's the presale price, btw; it goes up to $9 & $14 if you wait).
The lineup's in the flyer over there, but here's the full list I've seen so far, in case you can't see it for yourself:
Hoo-ah. If you don't like at least a handful of those people, I'm very sorry, but you're officially dead to me. You either wouldn't know good music if it bit you in the face or you have no soul, 'cause that is a badass lineup right there...
And to make things even better, unlike some festivals that do their thing outdoors in the brutal summer months regardkess of crippling temperatures & heatstroke, the Free Press-ers are taking the heat into account:
The park will host 2 stages, dozens of local artist booths, a craft beer garden, games, and several 'cooling elements' such as a misting tent to help attendees stage cool in the hot sun. Free Press Houston intends to make this greener than your average festival with a recycling program, carbon off-set credits, and a partnership with the Texas Campaign for the Environment. Participants are encouraged to wear bathing suits and loose fitting clothing. Free water will be available on site.
That's class, y'all. Oh, and the whole thing's a benefit for Project Row Houses down in the Third Ward, which means this thing's got heart, to boot. Omar, Shelby, & co., you all rock. Completely & totally. (No, I mean it.)
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