Plano may finally receive the recognition it deserves as a live music hotspot. After 19 years, KHYI 95.3 FM The Range’s Texas Music Revolution (TMR) concert is moving to Oak Point Park, which played host to Live Nation’s Suburbia outdoor music festival in 2014. The move is proof that the city is getting the buzz and street cred its lineup of cultural events warrant.
In short, Plano is cool.
Josh Jones, general manager and VP at KHYI, has been aware of this fact for sometime. TMR is his baby and since the beginning he’s shepherded it from an intimate indoor concert to Southfork Ranch, where the show attracted upwards of 10,000 people. Following the positive response to 2014’s Suburbia, transitioning TMR into a full-fledged outdoor music festival felt like the logical next step.
“I think there’s a renaissance going on in Plano right now. It’s been going on for a few years,” Josh says. “Plano has a commitment to the arts that most outsiders probably aren’t aware of.”
One person keenly aware of the city’s dedication to advancing its cultural offerings is Plano Recreation Superintendent Ron Smith. He says the city was looking for other live music opportunities after Live Nation pulled Suburbia from its festival lineup; when Josh approached city officials about turning TMR into an outdoor music festival, it seemed like a natural fit.
“We think arts and entertainment is a part of the future of Plano,” Ron says. “Having the KHYI festival in Plano just adds to the city’s quality of life.”
The event, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, March 25 and 26 at Oak Point Park, boasts an impressive musical lineup, carefully curated by Josh, with an emphasis on “Texasfied” versions of alt-country and Americana. One key difference in this year’s list of performers from that of TMRs past is the presence of a female headliner, Texas native Lee Ann Womack.
“She’s an artist who’s been able to maintain some sort of integrity and authenticity,” Josh says.
Other standouts in the lineup include Saturday night headliner Stoney LaRue, singer-songwriter John Moreland, up-and-comer Mike Ryan, McKinney boy Zane Williams, KHYI darling Chris Knight and Dallas mainstays The O’s, among others.
“There’s definitely a local flavor,” says Josh.
The Amphitheater at Oak Point Park is serving as a secondary stage, and the KHYI team is erecting a larger, temporary stage in the special events field, site of the Plano Balloon Festival. The city is kicking in a $100,000 contribution for the artists but hopes to recoup that amount through its share of food, beverage and merchandise sales, as well as parking fees.
“We want this to be long-term, successful, cooperative project,” says Ron.
Josh is equally positive about the future. “I would love for this event to grow into something that people flock to Plano for,” he says. “I think Plano is already cool, just not everyone else is aware of it yet.”
It won’t be a secret much longer. Ron says city events already attract people from surrounding areas and Plano residents no longer have to head to Dallas to get their entertainment fixes. Josh and Ron agree that it’s events like TMR that will transform the perception of Plano from generic suburb to a unique cultural destination with its own distinct identity.
“We want Plano to embrace this,” Ron says. “This is something that Plano can be proud of.”
We are giving away TWO FREE SATURDAY TICKETS to the fest! Winner will be announced March 15th. Enter the giveaway here:Enter the ticket giveaway > Purchase TMR20 Tickets > Set Times >
Photo at top is from 2014’s Suburbia Music Fest at Oak Point Park.