As truly massive music gatherings go, North Texas doesn’t have those in abundance. While there are acts who stop at a stadium for a night or three and pile in a hundred thousand or so, but the prospect of a festival amassing a potential total of 240,000 across its entire run is something else.
Attracting nearly half a million music fans across four days is the estimate given by the colorfully titled Gordy’s Hwy 30 Music Fest, which has its roots not in the Lone Star State, but about 1,400 miles to the west in Filer, Idaho, where Gordy and Megan Schroeder began the four-day event in 2009 as a school fundraiser.
It’s grown a bit over 14 years. The Schroeders are now hosting the event for the first time in a second location, the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, beginning Oct. 19 and continuing through Oct. 22. There are several Texas-bred acts on the multi-day line-up including Courtney Patton, Grady Spencer & The Work, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Mike & the Moonpies.
“The Hwy 30 Music Fest is all about recognizing the hardworking people of this country and bringing them out to enjoy unbelievable talent where they can just kick back and have a good time,” Gordy Schroeder said in a statement. “With Fort Worth known as the ‘Culture Capital of the Southwest,’ it only made sense to bring the excitement here to the great state of Texas and continue providing our family-friendly atmosphere.”
Here are five can’t-miss acts appearing at the Texas Motor Speedway this weekend.
Zach Bryan (10 p.m. Friday)
One of the biggest success stories in any genre this year is Oklahoma-bred singer-songwriter Zach Bryan, whose 2022 major label debut, American Heartbreak, debuted in the top five of the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. Not too shabby for this U.S. Navy veteran, who has collaborated thus far with everyone from Bon Iver to Kacey Musgraves.
Gary Clark Jr. (8:15 p.m. Saturday)
The Grammy-winning Austin guitar slinger has logged nearly three decades in the music business, and remains one of the most eclectic talents in the state, joining forces with everyone from Bun B, Childish Gambino and Alicia Keys to Foo Fighters, Sheryl Crow and Tom Morello.
Ashley McBryde (6:30 p.m. Thursday)
Arkansas singer-songwriter Ashley McBryde has one of the year’s more acclaimed records with The Devil I Know, which arrives on the heels of her breakout 2022 LP Lindeville. She deftly blurs the lines between rock and country, making a potent, arresting sound all her own.
Diplo Presents: Thomas Wesley (6:30 p.m. Sunday)
As side projects go, DJ, songwriter, and producer Diplo’s foray into earnest country music, under his actual first and middle name — Thomas Wesley — isn’t the weirdest thing. In between multi-platinum pop and electronic collaborations, Diplo carves out time for Thomas Wesley, which dropped a new LP earlier this year, and featured an appearances from Paul Cauthen, among many others.
Koe Wetzel (10 p.m. Sunday)
East Texas Koe Wetzel’s profile keeps rising. A relentless road warrior, Wetzel is signed with Columbia Records, and dropped his fifth studio album, Hell Paso, in September 2022. “I’m just hoping I can reach people,” Wetzel told KXT last year. “I’m not the only one that feels the way I do — whenever I’m writing these songs for people, I hope I can help people with whatever it is they’re going through … If what I’m doing makes somebody [expletive] happy, then, at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.”
Gordy’s Hwy 30 Music Fest at Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth. Oct. 19-22. Single-day and multi-day passes are still available.
Preston Jones is a North Texas freelance writer and regular contributor to KXT. Email him at [email protected] or find him on X (@prestonjones). Our work is made possible by our generous, music-loving members. If you like how we lift up local music, consider becoming a KXT sustaining member right here.