Thursday, September 1, 2011 , Updated 12:00 a.m., September 23, 2011
Pat Green, Josh Abbott Band to headline Western Days Festival in Lewisville
Both Green and Abbott are country acts, but there are differences between the two.
The annual Western Days Festival will bring two Texas natives to the stage who will offer crowds their own version of Texas country.
Pat Green will headline the annual Western Days Festival. Green will perform at 10 p.m. Sept. 24 on the Bud Light Main Stage. The Josh Abbott Band will be the featured act Sept. 23. Abbott will kick-off the two-day event with his show starting at 10 p.m.
"Both Pat Green and Josh Abbott have a good regional following. They're both really talented and work well with events such as ours," said James Kunke, community relations and tourism director. "Pat Green was at the top of our list for headliners, and Josh is a rising star."
Music was always a part of Green's life while growing up in Waco. His musical influences range from 1980s music to Motown to classical. He said the first album by Terence Trent D'Arby made a huge impact on him.
Green didn't really connect with Texas country until the summer before he started college. He was introduced to Robert Earl Keen and thought his writing was "incredible." From then, he began listening to more country music and fell in love with the genre.
Green began performing and made a regional fan base by opening shows for main acts such as Willie Nelson and Keen. He chose to stay in Texas instead of leaving for Nashville in order to have more freedom over his music. It wasn't until recently that he signed his first major record deal.
Abbott founded his band in the 2000s in Lubbock while he was attending Texas Tech University. He left college to pursue music full time and recorded the band's first album. The band's second album, She's Like Texas, released in 2010, made the top country albums charts.
"For the Friday headliner, we wanted someone who we won't be able to afford in two years. We want to be ahead of the curve, and Josh is about to take off in his career," Kunke said. "We've had a lot of performers play here before they hit it big."
Kunke said both Green and Abbott are country acts, but there are differences between the two.
"Pat is more traditional, and Josh is more contemporary," Kunke said. "Our goal was to put acts on the main stage that people will enjoy."
Kunke said while there is not a committee that chooses the headliners, many people have input. The city staff speaks with the city council at its annual retreat, and then gives a list of potential headliners to a consultant. The consultant contacts the acts, and then comes back to the city staff for final approval.
"A lot of times you have to act fast in order to get who you want. We don't want to miss out on a top performer because we have to go through a committee," Kunke said. "I think this year will be best lineup we've ever had."
No Justice will open for Abbott at 8:15 p.m. Hudson Moore will open for Green also at 8:15 p.m.
The festival is free, but a ticket is required. Free tickets are available at the festival website www.LewisvilleWesternDays.com, and through entertainment sponsor 99.5 The Wolf. Festival schedule is 7-11:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, and 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24.
Sponsors for Western Days 2011 include city of Lewisville, Lewisville Convention and Visitors Bureau, First Choice Power, Gilley's, Time Warner Cable, TIAA-CREF, The Apparel Group, Chase, MedFusion, Horizon Health, Orthofix, Vinson Process Controls, Vista Ridge Village Shopping Center, Bud Light and 99.5 The Wolf. Community supporters include Old Town Business Association, Old Town Preservation Society, Lewisville Morning Rotary Club, Greater Lewisville Kiwanis Club and Lewisville High School.
"We advertise for this event in Texas and Oklahoma. We've found that we have a lot of people come in from out of town for this festival," Kunke said. "It draws people from all across Texas because of the good musical lineup and the opportunity for a family-friendly festival."
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