I’ve got a golden ticket!
OK, it’s not actually gold, but to me, it’s just about as good. It’s for Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic, the huge star-studded music festival that Willie hosts on July 4th (almost) every year. The Picnic is an (almost) annual event but it’s not always held in the same location and I’ve never managed to be in the right place at the right time. This year, though, I’m in Austin and so is the festival and I’m pretty excited about going.
This all-day event is being held at the Austin360 Ampitheater at Circuit of the Americas. The 2016 line-up features Brantley Gilbert, Kris Kristofferson, Jamey Johnson with Alison Krauss, Lee Ann Womack, Asleep at the Wheel, Billy Joe Shaver, Shakey Graves, and many more. Willie says he tries to include a good mix of well-known artists and newer, rising stars. In addition to some of my favorites, I’m looking forward to hearing Folk Uke, a band featuring Willie’s daughter Amy and Arlo Guthrie’s daughter Cathy (parental advisory though; I hear their lyrics can be a bit…off-color).
Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic is a decades-old Texas tradition. The first one was held in 1973, but early festivals were plagued with problems from poor security to not enough facilities (port-a-potties) to fans not being very well-behaved guests. This made venues difficult to secure, so there were several years the event did not happen. When it did, it wasn’t always in Texas. Of course, they’ve fixed the problems now. Since 1995, it’s been almost continuous and I have made it one of my bucket list goals to attend.
In addition to the music, vendors will be selling food and other souvenirs. And it’s the 4th of July, right? So, of course, there will be a massive fireworks display at the end of the night.
There are still plenty of tickets available. Prices start at $39.50 for general admission to the lawn, $65 for the “pit” and go up for other reserved seating options. The lawn seating has picnic tables set up, which allow an easy way to relax with friends and family, and also provide the perfect vantage point to watch the fireworks that light up the skies at night. In my opinion, the ticket prices are a bargain for all the top-shelf talent that will be hitting the stage.
Wishing y’all a very happy and safe 4th of July. Enjoy!