Monday, February 17, 2014
– Willie Nelson's July 4th shindig is coming back to the stockyards.
Nelson announced Monday that his Fourth of July Picnic will be at the Fort Worth Stockyards.
"Beginning in 1973 in Dripping Springs, Texas, Willie's Fourth of July Picnic has become a Texas tradition unlike any other. We are thrilled to play a part in the 41-year history of the picnic and do it in the Fort Worth Stockyards. The artist lineup and festival environment this year will be the best in picnic history. When you see it you will agree," said Concho Minick, president of Billy Bob's Texas.
Two stages will provide non-stop entertainment from noon until night. Tickets range from $20-$250 and can be purchased at www.billybobstexas.com,www.williespicnic.com or by calling 817-624-7117. From this Friday through Sunday, for $20 General Admission ticket before any of the headliners are announced.
Nelson will make announcements of artists on Feb. 24 and also April 14.
At its start in 1973, Nelson, 40, decided to hold a music festival in a field in Dripping Springs. Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings and Tom T. Hall headlined the festival that brought more than 40,000.
Nelson threw another picnic in 1974 in the form of a three-day outdoor festival at Texas World Speedway in College Station. Jennings, Jimmy Buffett and Jerry Jeff Walker were the leading acts.
In 1975, just a few days before the third annual picnic, the Texas Senate honored Willie by declaring July 4, 1975, as "Willie Nelson Day in Texas." In 1976, the largest audience in the picnic's history attracted an estimated 70.000 attendees.
In 1980, Nelson announced that picnic would be the last. The news was printed on the tickets and was held at Nelson's newly purchased Pedernales Country Club. The festival was not his last.
Over the next 3 decades the picnic moved around various cities in Texas, from Austin to Luckenbach.
In 2004, Nelson announced at a press conference in the Fort Worth Stockyards that he was bringing his picnic to one of his boyhood homes - Fort Worth.