Randy Travis Becomes Guest of Honor at Inaugural Troubadour Fest

Randy Travis with Josh Abbott (photo: Patrick Tewey)

Combining the two Texas passions of barbecue and country music, the inaugural Troubadour Festival in Celina, TX (just north of Dallas) went down on Saturday, November 6th, showcasing food from a whopping 41 separate barbecue joints, and music from Turnpike Troubadours member Kyle Nix and his band The 38’s, as well as Pat Green, Josh Abbott Band, Stoney LaRue, and Cody Canada and the Departed.

The weather cooperated and Old Celina Park was packed by the time the headliners hit the stage, and everyone—including the organizers—were surprised when none other than Country Music Hall of Famer Randy Travis showed up and became the guest of honor at the festival.

“I had no idea he was going to be there until I was talking to one of our VIP ticket-buyers earlier in the day,” owner and organizer Chase Colston tells Saving Country Music. “She asked me if we were OK with Randy coming to watch the show, and honestly I didn’t believe her at first. She mentioned she was a good friend of Randy’s daughter and they would love to attend, so I said of course they could come and we would accommodate anything they needed.”

Randy and his wife Mary live in Tioga, TX, which is not too far from where the festival took place. Once Randy arrived, he found a spot on the side of the stage. When the Josh Abbott Band played “Forever and Ever, Amen” in tribute, Travis came out the help finish off the song.

“Randy and Mary were incredibly kind. It was truly an honor to meet a legend not only in general, but it meant the world to me to have Randy Travis attend my first-year festival,” says Chase Colston. “It had been two-and-a-half years since I put on a show due to the pandemic and losing my job, and having Randy there added to the amazing emotions of the day. I know the artists felt the same … It looked to me like Josh got a little emotional when Randy came on stage and they sang ‘Forever and Ever, Amen’ together.”

Chase Colston previously organized events for Townsquare Media including the Red Dirt BBQ & Music Festival in Tyler, TX before being laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic. He’s now the Co-Owner/President of Double Tap Entertainment, which put on Troubadour Fest.

Photos by Patrick Tewey.

Kyle Nix
Cody Canada and Kyle Nix
Stoney LaRue
Josh Abbott and Pat Green

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