CrudeFest 2016

| May 19, 2016 | Reply

Crowd shot tossIt was Texas music all the way — Texas musicians singing and playing their own brands of what Texans love; Texas hospitality shining through all the smiles; and on Texas oil-rich soil — or more specifically, Midland dirt in the Permian Basin region.

This was CrudeFest in its 6th year, May 12-14, with three days of the top Texas bands playing each day. And the crowds went wild!

Thursday opened with the Caleb Young Band, which won a band contest

Aaron Watson

Aaron Watson

hosted by the production company of TownSquare Experiential. That band opened it all up in great style. Then, there were the Dalton Domino, Bart Crow, Jason Boland, and Aaron Watson bands. Attendance was light in the beginning, because, after all, it was a workday, but by the time Bart Crow and his boys got on stage, the theater area was packed.

Friday had another area band opening, Clete Bradley, and following him

Cody Johnson Band

Cody Johnson Band

were Rich O’Toole, Mark McKinney, William Clark Green, Roger Creager, Cody Johnson and the Turnpike Troubadour bands. Again, lighter crowds in the beginning, growing as workers’ punched themselves out on their respective time clocks.

And Saturday — on my, what a crowd! Judson Cole, a more local band, played to as many people when he opened at 2:15 p.m., as Jason Boland had played to Thursday night. And the fans kept coming. Many of whom had been there every year. Following Cole were the Sam Riggs, Kyle Park, Whiskey Myers, Wade Bowen, Kevin Fowler, and Josh Abbott bands.

Kyle Park

Kyle Park

It was refreshing to have only one stage of music, and the time change between bands — usually 30 minutes — gave attendees a chance to visit all the vendors while also visiting with old friends.

Here’s the ‘blog’ portion of this feature…

I had two incredibly ah-ha moments. Once, when I was taking photos of all the vendors around the back area, a man, Mark or Matt, caught me. He said he checks Scene In Town all the time, even tho he lives farther away than the Metroplex; because he likes live music so much. He took a selfie of himself and me, and we parted company… I was floating on a cloud. The other was when Wade Bowen handed me his latest CD “Then Sings My Soul… Songs for My Mother.” I had already bought the music off iTunes, but was so tickled to get the whole CD for review (Buddy Magazine) purposes.

The stage crew was so nice, the video duo who made sure it all ended up on the jumbo-tron, was equally nice. The bands showed their true Texas colors at the Meet and Greets, taking time to visit with and autograph whatever the fans asked them to. Security, while never once failing to handle an unruly situation, were equally friendly and accommodating, including Victor, Robert, and Ariel. Even the ice crew, who toted me around the campgrounds that Wednesday evening before it all started to try to find activity worthy of being preserved in photographs, Greg and Tyler, smiled as I rode with them while they did their ice work. Meals served daily to crew were nutritious and tasty. The TownSquare crew — Valerie, Sammy Jo, Carolyn, Kristen, and so many others, were kind and as accommodating in the time frames their respective responsibilities allowed them to be.

Many of those employed for CrudeFest 2016 were oil field roughnecks. While today’s lower gasoline prices are a blessing to the majority of us, many of these hard-working men and women were currently unemployed and very happy to get the work at CrudeFest. My co-photographer, Beckah, works full time and came out each afternoon after completing her regular duties – another hard-working Texan. This festival, with its payroll, tourists, rentals, and other income-producing factors, had to have been a great financial boon to the Permian Basin.

A note — CrudeFest is billed as Texas’ premier Red Dirt festival, but the truth is — we Texans all know it can’t be 100% Red Dirt without the Red Dirt Big Daddies Brandon Jenkins or Mike McClure & The Great Divide playing it. Maybe next year…

TownSquare Experiential produces several festivals throughout the year and throughout the nation. Scene In Town will keep you up with them as we can.

For Thursday band photos, Click here

For Friday band photos, Click here

For Saturday band photos, Click here

For a few other photos, Click here

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Category: *- Features, 2016

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