Lewisville Hosts 50th Anniversary Texas International Pop Festival

Steven Pickering
August 30, 2019 - 1:37 pm
Texas International Pop Festival

Credit: City of Lewisville

LEWISVILLE (1080 KRLD) - Lewisville is marking the 50th anniversary of a concert that brought some of the biggest names of the 1960's counter-culture to north Texas.

The city hosted the Texas International Pop Festival on Labor Day weekend of 1969. It drew 120-thousand people to hear Santana, Grand Funk Railroad, the Chicago Transit Authority...and Austin psychedelic rock group Shiva's Headband. Violinist Spencer Perskin says they happened to be doing a show in north Texas.

“Guys from the festival came out and saw us and they decided we should play. So we came out there and played on the last day, and I got to play the last set of the festival with Johnny Winter and B.B. King,” Perskin said.

He recalls that despite the large crowd, there were no major problems. “It was really a very civilized event, considering when you have that many people...you’ve got a city.”

Lewisville is hosting a 50th-anniversary concert this weekend featuring Shiva's Headband, Chicago and Grand Funk Railroad from the original festival. 

Several younger acts are on the bill as well, and Lewisville city officials say they have worked to make sure the weekend event appeals to the entire family.

“We’re pretty good at figuring out what’s good for people to bring their kids to and what’s a good family event, so we went with a little bit of older music and some more pop-type music, and stuff people would recognize,” said Matt Martucci with the City of Lewisville. “We’ve got a good venue. It’s an outdoor facility, a wide open facility, so we think that it encourages people to come out and just enjoy the music.”

Richard Hayner was 16 years old when he attended the original festival. He says it was a sign the 60's counter-culture had arrived in north Texas. “The music was fantastic, but the music was only half of it,” he said. “Just like Woodstock, this was a happening – and the people were half the story.”

The 50th Anniversary Texas International Pop Festival is being held at the Lake Park Golf Course in Lewisville. Parking at the location is limited, so organizers are running shuttle buses from the parking lot between the Lowe’s and Kohl’s stores on I-35E at Valley Ridge Boulevard. Another shuttle will run from North Summit Road and Justin Road. The music starts at 3:00pm Saturday afternoon and runs through Sunday night. Saturday night’s headlining act is ZZ Top and Sunday night’s closing act is Chicago. Tickets will be available at the gate.

Shiva’s Headband will also be doing a rare in-store performance at 2:00pm on Sunday at Record Town at 120 St. Louis Avenue, Suite 105 in Fort Worth.