July 26, 2023 713 PM
TRI-COUNTY — This weekend, the popular summertime music festival Viva Big Bend will return to stages, lawns and patios around the region. Sixty-five shows will be played in 20 venues, spread across Marfa, Fort Davis, Alpine, Marathon, Terlingua and — for the first time — Presidio.
Venues included with the price of admission include the Railroad Blues in Alpine, which will host three shows a night beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Planet Marfa will also host daily shows, featuring hometown favorites like the Grand Tourists, Scrappy Judd Newcomb and Primo y Beebe.
Other mainstage venues in Alpine and Marfa include the Spicewood Restaurant, Granada Theatre, Old Gringo and Marfa Spirit Company. Cibolo Creek Ranch, located about 30 miles south of Marfa, will also host sets on Thursday and Friday evenings.
The festival will feature a number of afternoon shows that are free and open to the public. Starting on Thursday at 1 p.m., the Holland Hotel in Alpine will host three acts. On Friday, the Gage Hotel in Marathon will move the party down the highway for a show kicked off by local star Butch Hancock at 1 p.m.
Saturday’s free programming includes a kid-centric show at the Alpine Visitors Center starting at 11 a.m. Fort Davis’s Kelly Pavilion will then host a full slate of musical acts starting at 12 p.m.
Free shows will also be held at Out West Feed Supply in Alpine, Chateau Wright in Fort Davis and the Marathon Motel and RV Park.
The biggest change to the lineup this year is a free show hosted at Daly Park in Presidio — the first time the border town has ever participated in the festival. Local rock outfit Zaun will open at 8 p.m., followed by Austin-based Selena cover band Bidi Bidi Banda at 9:30 p.m.
Presidio’s place in the festival is the result of over a year and a half of discussion and organizing, including the combined efforts of the Presidio Municipal Development District and the Convention and Visitors Bureau.
In May of last year, Presidio’s Daly Park was the recipient of a grant from the AARP to improve the accessibility of the space — including improvements to the gazebo, which serves as the backdrop for the dancefloor at numerous community events.
In February, formal negotiations began with Stewart Ramser, the organizer of Viva Big Bend. Ramser said that his goal was to shed light on all the area had to offer by expanding to even more of the region’s communities. “We’re excited to work with y’all — really wanted to work with y’all in the past,” he said.
VIP tickets to the festival are currently sold out, but general admission tickets to paid shows are available online for $60 plus a $5 service fee. To purchase, visit: http://texasgifts.com/.
A full lineup of all paid shows and free events can be found online at: https://vivabigbend.com/faq/