By CLINT FOSTER
Usually local folks have to drive over an hour into the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex to attend a great music festival. But in less than a week, the citizens of Mineral Wells will get to experience some of Texas Music’s best in their own backyard.
For the first time in its 16-year history, Tommy Alverson’s Family Gathering will go back to its country roots and set up camp on Hog Mountain in Mineral Wells from Thursday, Oct. 3, through Saturday night, Oct. 5. The festival will feature talented acts like Davin James, the Tejas Brothers, Deryl Dodd, Steve Helms and many others, all headlined by none other than Texas singer/songwriter Tommy Alverson. Gates will open at 8 a.m. each day with music going straight from 2 p.m. to midnight.
According to a press release, the gathering is designed to appeal to a large, diverse audience while still retaining the feeling of a “Texas Music Family.”
“By carefully booking the right mix of talent and selecting the ideal location, the gathering has gained a reputation that mirrors the founder’s ideals: quality, honest entertainment that involves both the musicians and the fans that reflect the spirit that goes along with true Texas Music,” the release said.
Tickets are available for purchase online at outhouse.com or at the Mineral Wells Chamber of Commerce. Advanced three-day passes are $65 and individual day passes are $25 per person per day. All children 12 and under get in free.
Hog Mountain Retreat offers over 100 full campsites and plenty of room for all types of campers, motorhomes, and tents that people can use to best enjoy the festival. Call Hog Mountain at 940-682-6694 for more details. For those who don’t wish to rough it, Public Transit Services will offer free daily transportation to the festival from any of the hotels on the east side of town. This is thanks to grant to Hog Mountain Retreat from the Mineral Wells Chamber of Commerce.
The Gathering will also feature a Chili Appreciation Society International sanctioned Chili Cook Off. Proceeds from the cook off and the festival will go toward Alverson’s chosen charity: Farm Aid.
There will be a Kick-Off Party for the event on Wednesday, Oct. 2, at Holiday Hills Country Club featuring lots of great food and music from Alverson, James, Helms and Jamie Richards. V.I.P tickets are available at $60 per couple or $35 for singles. Those interested should contact Stephanie White at 940-682-5061. Members of H.H.C.C. can get tickets for $40 per couple and $25 for singles by contacting Earon Gatlin at email@example.com.
As Public Relations Director for the event, White said the festival should have a very positive impact on the local economy, especially local hotels. She is also Director of sales at Best Western Club House Inn and Suites – the host hotel for the event – and said their property is already almost at capacity for the weekend of the festival.
Alverson said the family aspect of his festival is what sets it apart and what should encourage people to attend.
“There’s something special about the Gathering that you just can’t quite explain,” he said. “I think it’s because it’s still got that ‘family’ feel to it. We have a lot of quality artists and more and more fans coming every year, but we have not lost that feeling of camaraderie. Everybody still feels comfortable around each other and that is something we always want to have. For some people, this might be one of the few times to take in this amount of quality live music. I know that some even make this their yearly vacation which turns into somewhat of a reunion every year for the fans and artists”