HoustonFest will take place on May 2 - 3, 2014 at Felt Park in Galax, VA. Unlike any other festival we attend, HoustonFest is a celebration of the life of Houston Caldwell expressing this dedication through its commitment to youth and young people's music. Houston Caldwell was only nineteen when his life was cut off in a motorcycle accident while returning from having competed in the banjo contest at Merlefest. In his short life he had made friends throughout the bluegrass world, been an active member of the Galax Fire Department, and had just completed Army basic training. All these commitments are on full display at HoustonFest. But HoustonFest is far from being a glum or sad occasion. Rather, it is a celebration of Houston's life through music, song, dance, and performance, all with an emphasis on developing young musicians who will be both in the forefront of national performers and remain the background of bluegrass and traditional music through their participation in local jams and events. As is fitting for this storied location, HoustonFest celebrates both bluegrass and old-time music in many manifestations.
HoustonFest is probably less about the headline bands than any other festival we attend, and yet the bands are there. The schedule is complex, featuring three stages: The Main Stage, Camp Houston Stage, and the Firehouse Stage. Featured events and performers will appear on all the stages for both days, although youth bands and workshops will dominate on the two subsidiary stages. If you want to see the music stars of the future, to be able to say that you saw a performer when just a youngster, Camp Houston and the Firehouse Stages are where you want to be. Here's the whole schedule. Nevertheless, the Main Stage will feature some of the greats of bluegrass:
Hayden & Tess Caldwell