Big State Festivus for the Rest of Us

In Uncategorized on 11/19/2009 at 3:59 pm

On October 13 & 14 2007, a gathering occurred just outside of College Station at the Texas World Speedway.  It was a wonderland of music, harmony and bag chairs.  The weather was nice (overall), the setup was good, people even recycled.  Music ranged from Drew Kennedy to Tim McGraw.  Although famous country singers are of no interest to me, I did appreciate their presence as a weed-out factor to see honestly talented Texas musicians in peace.

Musical highlights: Leon Russell, who I really wanted to see at least once in my life, played a great chill show which set the mood for the weekend, merging hippies and rednecks.  Billy Joe Shaver, seemed thrilled to be there, was very energetic and whose set list truly highlighted his song writing range.  The Gougers were on a quiet side stage, making it easier to enjoy their music. I will admit we skipped most of Willie Nelson but that is only because we had seen him while working the weekend before.  Tied for first, with Lyle Lovett, as my favorite performance was Charlie and Bruce Robison with Kelly Willis.  Unbelievable show.  We got there early to get good seats, which was a brilliant idea since people kept wandering over.  Bonus: Saw Kelly Willis at the port-a-potties.

Good: Lots of port-a-potties and no lines, music started mostly on time and ran on schedule; major props to the schedule Nazis with headsets who kept that going, a wide variety of food and retail vendors, nice merchandise range not outrageously expensive, huge tent with bar and giant TVs showing college football, great exposure to new and seasoned music from the Texas scene, stock car racing, during which I learned my best friend is a closet NASCAR junkie as she explained every detail of the race, including a roadway beat down (awesome!).

Annoying: Lyle Lovett and Lynyrd Skynyrd playing at the same time.  Quiet awesomeness with screaming southern rock on caddy corner stages.  Scheduling people should have done a tad more research.

Really Bad: Heineken light.

The day of Robert Earl Keen’s performance the grass caught fire and burned some vehicles.  If you are an REK fan, you know the monologue from his No. 2 Dinner Live CD which describes his experience at Willie Nelson’s Second Picnic at Texas World Speedway in College Station where his car burned up.  Coincidence?  I think not.

Alas, this festival was supposed to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship but this dream was never realized.  Despite nothing but positive reviews and generous crowds, the people in charge couldn’t get their act together and Big State is no more.  If you missed it, let this be a lesson to you: Carpe freakin’ diem.

Fun and check-and-see provoking fact: There is no period after the Dr in Dr Pepper.

  1. Oh, what a great time at Big State! If it would have only lasted.

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