by: Joseph Hudak
When the South by Southwest Music and Media Conference kicks off March 17th in Austin, it’ll do so with a mob of badge-holding movers-and-shakers descending upon the Texas capital. Which makes a ticket to the spacious Heartbreaker Banquet, held Thursday, March 19th, at Willie Nelson’s secluded Luck, Texas, ranch outside of town, all the more valuable. There’s also the diverse lineup, which Rolling Stone Country is announcing today.
Featuring two stages, the Medicine Show Stage and the intimate Revival Tent, the Heartbreaker Banquet — hosted by Electric Lady Studios and Robot Fondue — boasts more than 20 artists. As he did last year, Nelson and his Family Band headline the Medicine Show Stage, along with Hurray for the Riff Raff, Nikki Lane, Leon Bridges, Heartless Bastards, Delta Spirit, Clear Plastic Masks, Elle King, J.P. Harris, Horse Thief and Nelson protégée Lily Meola. Nelson’s sons Lukas and Micah are also on the bill, with their respective groups the Promise of the Real and Insects vs. Robots. (The Nelson siblings are currently working with Neil Young on his new album.)
Butch Walker, who recently released the brutally honest and stripped-down Afraid of Ghosts, headlines the Revival Tent. Angel Olsen, Israel Nash, Joseph, Lindi Ortega, the Deslondes, Hamilton Leithauser, Matt Sucich and a guitar pull with Jonny Burke, Langhorne Slim, Luke Bell, Hugh Masterson and Daniel Romano round out the lineup.
Nelson’s town of Luck is a collection of buildings and facades constructed for the filming of his 1986 movie Red Headed Stranger. Shortly after last year’s Heartbreaker Banquet, a storm damaged many of the structures. They’ve since been repaired to serve as the backdrop for this year’s daylong festival, which aims to foster roots music and roots artists. In addition to the performances, it features both art and food vendors. Tickets to the fourth annual event go on sale today.