Texas Community Music Festival Returns After Two-Year Hiatus
By Madeline Salinas
Reporting Texas TV
AUSTIN, Texas — A few weeks prior to the 15th Texas Community Music Festival in 2020, organizers learned that they would have to cancel the annual event.
“We kind of had to put the brakes on everything,” said festival organizer Kat Brotherton. “Nobody really had any idea, at that point, how long this break was going to last.”
The festival offers jazz, wind and rock performances for the public.
After three years, the festival returned this month to the Central Market patio on North Lamar. Brotherton said that bands that regularly played at the festival had to be vigilant because of the risk of spreading COVID.
“A lot of these groups are made up of older musicians. A lot of them, being older, also had COVID morbidities and extra precautions that they had to take to come back,” Brotherton said.
Festival founder and organizer Herb Holland said that while he was grateful to have the festival return, he and his staff remembered those they lost to COVID who didn’t get a chance to see the festival’s return.
“They were our colleagues and our friends and people that normally come out here and gather. We thought about how much we miss them,” Holland said.
Over ten days from April 22-May 1, the festival will welcome 40 groups under its canopy, ranging from wind ensembles to rock bands.
Andy McKay and his band, Not Past 11, have performed at the festival for the last ten years. He said it was a struggle to find safe ways for the 18-person band to perform over the last two years.
“We’re finally getting back into the venue situation,” McKay said. “It took a while to be back up and running, so I’m very glad to be up and going again.
Festival sponsor Todd Sloan is excited to return to the festival. He said music always finds a way to unite others, even during dark times.
“Music is that thread that is this tapestry of life that weaves us all together. It’s what sustains us,” Sloan said. “I’m glad it’s back. It’s been a long two and a half, three years. It seems like forever.”
The complete schedule of performances is here.