Once again, Willie Nelson welcomed fans and friends and family, musicians and music lovers to a party in his home state of Texas on the Fourth of July! And can he ever throw a party. We had so much fun.
Willie made us feel so welcome.
Billy Bob’s Texas in the Stockyards of Fort Worth, once again hosted the event. Twelve plus hours of music, on three stages, inside, outside, it was exhausting, even though it was organized and semi-airconditioned. I never did find one of the stages, the Honkey Tonk stage, even though I did have a map.
Fans were in line early for the opening of the doors to Billy Bob’s. People ask how do you get those front row spots? Well, this is how you can get up front, be the first one in the door! Willie Nelson’s fan club, ‘Club Luck’, sold tickets which permitted fans to enter Billy Bob’s 15 minutes before everyone else — another good reason to join the fan club.
Randy Roger’s could fill Billy Bob’s on his own, but on the Fourth of July, he opened up Willie Nelson’s 20102 picnic, with a bang! Wow, they are good. They got everyone in a great mood, ready to dance and have a good time. Played some new stuff, too, very exciting.
I spent daytime between helping out at Scooterville, Willie Nelson’s traveling merchandise store, by the Outdoor stage, and slipping into Billy Bob’s air-conditioned theater for the shows inside
Amy Nelson and Cathy Guthrie of Folk Uke entertain on the main stage inside..
Billy Joe Shaver and his band played hit, after hit, after hit.
Energy just kept rising, with Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real set.
Asleep at the Wheel got everyone into a Texas Swing state of mind.
Thanks to Pam Minick and her team and Billy Bob’s for hosting the party. It was well organized, semi-air-conditioned, and the bands started on time as scheduled, an advantage of having multiple stages, with quick set up they offer. Everyone started on time, and ended on time — Except Willie Nelson and Family, who started when the wanted, and ended when they wanted, as it should be.
At one point, Willie Nelson invited more family members on stage to join in for a gospel music set, and other artists from the picnic joined in, too. I checked the time to see that the Fourth of July was long gone, and we were moving into the 5th, so I thought, ‘Finale!’. The songs ended, the artists hugged, shook hands with Willie and walked away, but the show wasnn’t over, Willie stayed, kept playing and broke into some Hank Williams, and the show went on, until well into the 5th of July. Finally, Willie launched into one more rendition of ‘Whiskey River’, and sent us on our way, smiling, exhausted, grateful, satiated, drunk and/or dehydrated, and looking forward to next year’s, what ll be Willie’s 40th picnic, next year. Mark your calendars!
And the bus leaves….