Just last night, the great Willie Nelson was in town to perform a gig at the Morton H. Meyerson Center and raise funds for LaunchAbility, a Dallas-based organization that provides services to assist both children and adults with developmental disabilities.
Good guy, that Willie, doing some good here in the Metroplex.
But, turns out, he was just getting started: Today, Nelson has announced that his annual Fourth of July Picnic concert will return to Billy Bob's Texas in the Fort Worth Stockyards this year, where the event was hosted in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
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Back in 2008, I attended to Picnic when it was held in Carl's Corner, and I saw the light. In other words: This event is awesome, folks.
And maybe especially so this year, as the Picnic serves as the final tour stop on the Country Throwdown tour, which finds Nelson joined by the likes of Jamey Johnson, Randy Houser, Lee Brice, Craig Campbell, Drake White and Willie's son's band, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real. In addition to these performers, the Fourth of July show will also feature David Allan Coe and Ray Price, among others.
Tickets to the picnic, which starts bright and early at noon on Independence Day, will run $30 and go on sale on Monday, May 2, at 10 a.m. The press release announcing the show doesn't say where exactly tickets can be purchased, but, considering that Billy Bob's uses Ticketmaster for all of its shows anyway, that's probably your best best. Read the rest of the release in full after the jump.
WILLIE NELSON'S COUNTRY THROWDOWN TOUR 2011 TO CONCLUDE WITH WILLIE NELSON'S 4TH OF JULY PICNIC & THROWDOWN AT BILLY BOB'S IN FORT WORTH
Drake White Joins Tour and Country Weekly Signs on as Additional Sponsor
Nashville, Tenn. - April 27, 2011 - Billy Bob's Texas and 4Fini announce the return of Willie Nelson's 4th of July Picnic to Fort Worth. The Fort Worth Stockyards hosted the iconic "Willie's Picnic" in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Willie is currently on the Country Throwdown Tour 2011 which will wrap up with the always-anticipated Willie Nelson's annual 4th of July Picnic. The long-standing Texas tradition will break new ground as it will be held outside and inside of the famed Billy Bob's Texas. Headliners at Willie Nelson's 4th of July Picnic & Throwdown will perform on the venue's main stage outside with many artists taking the stage indoors for a full complement of multi-talented entertainers.
Willie Nelson's 4th of July Picnic & Throwdown is designed to provide guests a not-to-be-missed afternoon and evening of exceptional performances by artists from all musical genres, along with some unexpected jam sessions. Country Throwdown tour artists include Willie Nelson, Jamey Johnson, Randy Houser, Lee Brice, Craig Campbell, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, plus recent tour addition, Drake White, an Alabama native known for his unique brand of freestyle twists on original country songs, ad-libs and audience participation antics. Willie's Picnic will feature many artists who are traditionally featured on the Willie's Picnic lineup, including Ray Price, David Allan Coe, Paula Nelson, and more.
This year's unique setup will feature the air-conditioned comfort of Billy Bob's opening to the landscaped beauty of Rodeo Plaza in the Stockyards. Doors will open at 11:30 a.m. with the first artist taking the stage at 12 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance and will go on sale May 2 at 10 a.m. Because of the unique inside/outside nature of this year's event, it will be the first time that "Willie's Picnic" in Fort Worth will set a ticket and headcount limit, and organizers are expecting a quick sellout.
"Willie Nelson's 4th of July Picnic is a long-standing tradition, and we're thrilled to be a part of it. We couldn't think of a better way to end this tour than by bringing together the legendary picnic talent with the big-name artists performing throughout the Country Throwdown Tour," said Kevin Lyman of 4Fini. "Billy Bob's in Fort Worth is known as the World's Largest Honky Tonk, so I can't think of a better place to host this year's finale."
The tour also is known for spotlighting emerging singer-songwriters on the Bluebird Cafe Stage. Adam Hood, Caitlyn Smith, Austin Lucas, Brent Cobb, Dani Flowers, and Erin Enderlin have signed on for this special tour attraction, giving fans the opportunity to hear some of Nashville's best in the "in-the-round"-style sets made famous at Nashville's Bluebird Cafe. This unique singer-songwriter showcase will be a first for Willie's Picnic in Fort Worth.
4Fini also announced today that Country Weekly has signed on as an official sponsor of the tour. Country Weekly will produce the official souvenir program, which will be distributed free of charge at all Throwdown dates, provide extensive coverage in Country Weekly and on CountryWeekly.com and will host a sponsor tent on the tour where fans can sign up for a special Throwdown subscription offer and get autographs from Throwdown artists.
"Country Weekly is beyond thrilled to be teaming up with Willie Nelson's Country Throwdown Tour," says Editor in Chief Lisa Konicki. "Our two organizations are a perfect fit, and we're happy to be joining together to bring great music and news to the core country music fan."
Willie Nelson's Country Throwdown Tour 2011 sponsors include COUNTRY WEEKLY, HARLEY-DAVIDSON, DICKIES, CMT, NAMM, THE BLUEBIRD CAFE, BMI, Y'ALLWIRE, KEEP A BREAST, SHIRTS FOR A CURE, AZUNIA, WARNER MUSIC NASHVILLE, and U.S. MARINES.
For more information about Willie's Picnic event, visit www.williespicnic.com. For more information about 2011 Country Throwdown dates and venues, visit www.countrythrowdown.com.