Homegrown Festival almost didn’t make it to its 10th birthday. Last April, just weeks before the ninth festival was set to take place in Main Street Garden Park, the leaders faced a moment of reckoning. They needed as many as 5,000 ticket buyers, and they needed them fast.
“We were sinking,” festival director Josh Florence says. “But we survived. And the way we survived was perfectly Homegrown.”
Florence and his team turned to the community for help. Venue managers, radio personalities, musicians, bar owners, restaurateurs and more all chipped in.
“We called for help, and help came,” Florence recalls. “People all over just said, ‘What do you need me to do?’”
The answer was simple: Help sell as many tickets as we can. They reached their goal, saved Homegrown and lived to see a 10th year. When the time came to plan year 10, Florence and his team knew what to do.
“We want to celebrate our community,” Florence says. “And say thanks to the people that got us here.”
The 10th annual Homegrown Festival takes place Saturday, April 13, with a lineup they’re calling their “greatest hits.” Former headliners Toadies and Tripping Daisy are returning to co-headline the event at Main Street Garden Park, and they will be joined by Pearl Earl, Austin’s Israel Nash, the Houston-based The Suffers, DJ Marc Rebillet and many more.
“This is a classic Homegrown lineup,” Florence says. “Every year, we want to create an event where you can bring your family, your friends and everyone gets exposed to really badass Texas music.”
Some bands hail from Dallas, others from Houston or the state capital. They’re all from Texas, and many have played Homegrown before.
“I’m sentimental by nature,” Florence says. “Having some of these bands come back to join us for another show makes this year kind of a homecoming. So this one is special.”
Florence got the idea for Homegrown while watching an RTB2 show at City Tavern over a decade ago.
“There were 50 people there, and there should’ve been hundreds banging down the door to get in,” he says. “I thought, ‘How can I get these amazing local bands the spotlight they deserve?’”
That’s a big reason Florence is excited for year 10. Half of the fest’s bands are up-and-comers who will share the spotlight with local legends like Tripping Daisy and Toadies.
Tripping Daisy frontman Tim DeLaughter has a soft spot in his heart for Homegrown, which he and the band played when they re-formed in 2017. They jumped at the chance to play the 10-year show and to premiere their new music alongside Toadies.
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“It’s one of those crowds that never loses a step,” DeLaughter says. “You’re out there playing songs from 20 years ago, and they’re just as into it now as they were then. It’s a special vibe.”
Toadies’ Vaden Todd Lewis agrees.
“It’s always special to see local bands do their thing, and to share the stage with these guys you’ve known for so long,” he says. “Our band is spread out all over the state now, but we’ll all be there for this one. Homegrown is home.”
The 10th annual Homegrown Music and Arts Festival is Saturday, April 13. Tickets start at $49.