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Waterloo Festival Comes to Austin

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Top jam bands and local musicians come together for inaugural festival.

By Evangelos Fuge

Sept. 7 to 9 will see a new vibe hit Austin’s live-music scene in the form of the Waterloo Music Festival. During the course of three days, top-notch jam bands and Austin musicians will converge on Carson Creek Ranch.

Promoter Scott Holmes has produced similar shows in Houston and feels like there is a massively untapped market in Austin. Waterloo has been years in the making for him.

After months of a collaborative back and forth, Waterloo will feature jam-scene stalwarts The String Cheese Incidenton all three nights, as well as Oteil & Friends (featuring Oteil Burbridge of a late version of the Allman Brothers Band and Tedeschi Trucks Band) Friday night and then Joe Russo’s Almost Dead Saturday evening.

Holmes explains this is only the beginning of his music-festival goal.

“Our running joke is we’d like to turn this into the Lockn’ [Festival] of the South,” he says.

Going forward, he has his sights on the likes of Phish and Dead & Company, along with a potential “spring iteration” of the festival.

Holmes expects upward of 5,000 people a day, with representation from nearly every state and even other countries. Guests can purchase single-day passes, three-day passes or opt to camp out for an extra fee.

“We wanted both jam and appeal,” Holmes says.

Waterloo seeks to showcase not only the jam band but the Austin local. Of particular note at the festival is Austin Groove Project, performing at 4:30 p.m. Friday. This local super group is made up of Austin axe heiress Jackie Venson, Bastrop’s young blues connection the Peterson Brothers, Alesia Lani, D Madness, Jon Keyz and the incomparable Tameca Jones. The must-see group will undoubtedly bring a haul of Austin soul and sounds to the Waterloo Festival grounds.

Friday festivities kick off at 3 p.m. and rock until 1 a.m. Saturday shares the same closing time but music begins at 1 p.m. Sunday, music begins at 11:30 a.m.

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