BigFest 2014 is this weekend. If you don’t know what Bigfest is or need a quick refresher course, here is your guide to one of the coolest annual music events in Texas.

WTH is Bigfest?!?

Bigfest started as an annual celebration of the birthday of Big John Mills. Big John is a legend. In addition to being a talented solo artist, Big John has taken his guitar everywhere, played it with everyone and can rip out a guitar solo with HIS TONGUE. No, seriously. His tongue.

But Bigfest became more than a celebration. It became a cause. Big John graciously shared his birthday shindig to raise money for the Cheatham Street Music Foundation.

WTH is the Cheatham Street Music Foundation?

The Cheatham Street Music Foundation is an organization that promotes the advancement of education in songwriting by conducting songwriting classes, workshops, seminars, public forums, panels, lectures, concerts and similar programs.

If you’ve ever been to Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos, then you know that it is a special place. It has served as a musical incubator for some of the most legendary singer/songwriters in Texas and is a spiritual musical home for many others. The Foundation works to expand that role and preserve the unique singer/songwriter culture that we have here in Texas.

According to Casey Monahan, director of the Texas Music Office, “Cheatham Street has played a pivotal role in commercializing new country music in Central Texas. Young artists at Cheatham Street are provided with an enthusiastic crowd, an historic stage, and the sage advice of a wise music industry professional, owner Kent Finlay. Many ‘baby bands’ have developed longtime fans through the exposure they gained at Cheatham Street Warehouse.”

WTH Happens At Bigfest?

The tentpole for Bigfest is music. Lots of it. Texas musicians with guitars. Full bands. Some you know. Some you need to know. You name it. It happens. I can honestly say that every year at Bigfest, I have had multiple instances of being “blown away”. There is always more than one artist(s) who reduces me to the status of transfixed mouthbreather.

In addition to the music, there are other events that are geared toward the fundraising aspect. Every year features a killer silent auction and great food with proceeds going directly to the Cheatham Street Music Foundation.

However, with all of that, what really happens at Bigfest is fellowship. It is the norm for musicians to get there early, hang out with everyone before their set, play their set, then hang out for the rest of the day. Artists and fans connect around a great cause in a great place.

The Particulars

Bigfest 2014 is  June 27 – 29 at the Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos. Friday is 5pm to close. Saturday is 1pm to close. Sunday is special. It starts at 12:30p with Cowboy Church and continues on until close.

Who’s Playing?

I’m not typing all of that out. Instead, head over to their site and get the schedule. 

http://bigfest.cheathamstreetfoundation.org/schedule.html

WTH?!? I Can’t Make It!

In most situations, I would say “sucks to be you.” However, in this instance you are one lucky individual.

For years, Radio Free Texas has broadcast Bigfest live. That’s right 100% live. I have the pleasure of MC’ing and DJ’ing all at the same time. If you want to hear, then tune in to Radio Free Texas during the scheduled times and get the music in your ears.

We have been known to take your feedback from ‘Chat’ and the Radio Free Texas Facebook page and pass it up to the artists. 

But remember, this is about raising money for a good cause so pay very close attention.

You can participate in the silent auction here: http://bigfest.cheathamstreetfoundation.org/auction.html

You can get your Bigfest t-shirts here: https://squareup.com/market/cheatham-street-music-foundation

Sorry, they don’t deliver food or beer.

One Last Thing…

Be there if you can. Listen on RFT if you can. Be sure to give feedback. Donate. This is one of my favorite events of the year and I get excited about it. Like this guy.

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