And rumor has it, confirmed rumor that is, that the date is set for the first Saturday in August 2013, for the second installment.
This first year, at Southfork Ranch (also the home of the annual Texas Music Revolutions also presented by KHYI), the facility added two more air conditioners and cranked all of them up pretty high, to give that wintry feeling. Also, they used their clear-Christmas lights, wreaths, and other decorations to create the winter mood, very successfully, too. DB Sound provided all the sound and lighting and the center of the room was set up with a wrestling ring, used for dual reasons— Midget wrestling and as a stage for the solo performers. An ice sculptor displayed his art as he created the KHYI logo and that for the new festival in two separate blocks of ice, then brought them to life with his electric saw.
It all got off with the first of two glitches — a wreck on the highway kept the opening performer from arriving in time, and so when asked, Dustin Perkins and his band kicked it off instead. About halfway through their set, a transformer blew and suddenly it all became hotter’n hell for a while, as crews got the power up and running again. Then, the opener, Kyle Bennet, had arrived, and so he performed on the main stage after the sound system — and a/c system — was back in operation. Then, Dustin and the band got back up and finished their set.
After all that, it went pretty smoothly, with music moving from the main stage to the wrestling ring/stage for solo artists Jerrod Medulla, Ed Burleson, Jamie Richards, and Guthrie Kennard.
A few surprises included Mavs general manager Donnie Nelson joining the KHYI personalities on stage between sets. Nelson is becoming a regular at the KHYI events, most recently before this having been a judge one night of the Shiner Rising Star 2012 contest.
Another surprise, even for John David Kent, was when headliner Ray Wylie Hubbard brought him out onto the stage to share a song. And Somebody’s Darling did a couple of songs from their upcoming CD release, due out next month. Also rounding out the main stage line-up were the Tejas Brothers.
The glitches come and gone, the first-ever Cooler’n Hell fest went off fine and the packed house appeared (through its dancing, laughter, moshing, and cheers) to have gone home with memories of a great day to relive.