Once again Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Music Fest sponsored by Blackbird Presents will be rolling down the road, and they have just released the 10 separate lineups, dates, and locations for the 2019 season. Originally started as a one-off event in 2016, for the last two years the Outlaw Music Festival has been a touring affair, with a round robin cast of performers playing certain events around the country, all with Willie Nelson as the headliner. This year arguably goes even further from what the term “Outlaw” means to many country music fans with some of the bands selected to play, but the lineups are impressive nonetheless.
No offense to Counting Crowes, Dawes, or Phil Lesh and Friends, but this is not exactly what makes people think “Outlaw,” though perhaps Steve Earle and the Dukes, Colter Wall, and maybe Hayes Carll will. Blackbird Presents always seems to engage in pretty strange curation, including for its multiple tribute shows for legends. Sturgill Simpson, who participated in Outlaw Fest the last couple of years but is not on the lineup in 2019, saw the irony of the whole “Outlaw” thing and had T-shirts printed up with a unicorn jumping over a rainbow and the slogan, “So Fucking Outlaw” in 2018.
Regardless of what you call it, the Outlaw Music Fest will give fans in multiple markets a chance to see a cool package show at an amphitheater, and it’s a better use of time and money that trying to see all of the bands individually. “The fans told us what they wanted on the Outlaw Music Festival Tour in 2019, and I am thrilled to have delivered this to them,” says Keith Wortman, CEO of Blackbird Presents. “This summer’s lineup with Willie Nelson and our caravan of artists continues to take the Outlaw Music Festival experience to a whole new level.”
Last year the Outlaw Fest sold more than 200,000 tickets over its various stops. This year the festival includes a Canadian date with the multiple stops in the Northeast and Upper Midwest of the United States. It also includes a stop in Dallas, TX on July 3rd, likely leading up to Willie Nelson’s annual 4th of July Picnic that you can expect to see a lineup for in the coming weeks. “We had so much fun on the Outlaw Music Festival Tour last year that we couldn’t wait to get back out on the road with everyone,” says Willie Nelson.
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