DFW Music News

Southfork Ranch Is Perfect For a Revolution

Even with the cold wind, Texas country music fans still headed out to enjoy the 18th annual Texas Music Revolution.

This festival, featuring more than a dozen acts on the bill, was to take place at the famous Southfork Ranch in Parker.

My friend and I picked up our tickets at will call. We then had to hand over our IDs to be scanned. A receipt was printed, I signed it, and then walked 5 feet to another table where I had to give them the receipt for a wristband. I guess I just don't understand why all the middle steps weren't skipped, but you know, whatever. I did as I was told.

As I'm walking in, I pass by the man with the security wand without having to be scanned.

Interesting, I thought, but once again, I wasn't going to question anything. After talking to the young man, I learned he thought there was no point to wand me because my clothes were too tight to smuggle anything in.

Oh, good. That makes me feel great.

I had never been to the venue, so I immediately walked around like a tourist. Attendees ranged from a 13-year-old boy standing on a chair to look over the crowd for a better view to an older gentleman (maybe in his 80s) asking band members to sign his cowboy hat.

The main room had a sort of bingo-hall vibe. I honestly thought I was in the wrong place when I first peered in the window. People were sitting down and drinking in the brightly-lit room, while bands played on stage. Bands' merchandise tables were set up along the walls and beer stations were around every corner. ATMs were also aplenty because the five selections of beer was cash-only. I passed up the apple pie-flavored moonshine and decided to stick to some dark beer.

Once I made my way to the backroom, I finally grasped a better concert atmosphere with the darker lighting and wider space. Bands played on the Zeigenbock stage, including John David Kent, Reckless Kelly, and Jack Ingram as the closer.

There were unassigned seats in the backroom, but people barely sat for the acts. Instead, they crowded around the stage, took pictures, and drank enough beer to sing along.

People might know of Southfork Ranch for its role in the TV series Dallas. And there was a certain nostalgia feeling, knowing so much history is a part of the venue.

John David Kent told me it's the perfect place for a large festival like TMR during the month of March. It sounded like a cop-out at first, but he assured me in the five years he's played the festival, the weather has ranged from snow to sunshine.

And with Texas weather as unpredictable as just about anything, Southfork Ranch was pretty much the best setting for the festival. It offers two stages in two different rooms with two completely different vibes, but, according to its website, also offers an outdoor area if weather permits.

Maybe next year, running to and from the parking lot to avoid the cold won't be an issue. Fingers crossed.

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Paige Skinner has written for the Dallas Observer since 2014.
Contact: Paige Skinner