Singer Wade Bowen says this weekend’s Bowen MusicFest is the biggest and best yet

Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 7:11 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - The biggest music festival of the year in Central Texas is happening the weekend of April 9-10 just outside of McLane Stadium in Waco and it’s expected to draw a record-breaking crowd as it offers music for two days for the first time, instead of the traditional one.

This is the 22nd music festival put on by singer and songwriter Wade Bowen, a Waco native. Bowen, 1996 Reicher High School graduate, calls it his favorite show of the year.

“By far. I love it,” Bowen said.  “It’s so much fun. I love doing this and I love the fact that we work so hard, our family works so hard to do this, and to have a great time, but at the end of the day, it enables us to give some money back to those that really need it.”

The last two years, Bowen Music Fest has been canceled because of COVID-19.   Bowen promised he’d bring it back bigger and better than ever before.

The singer is living up to his word by expanding the festival to Saturday and Sunday instead of only Sunday.

“Two years off - of not being able to contribute and donate money to those that really need it - has been really tough on our foundation, but I’m also really proud of our foundation, to survive and to still be here and be able to come back stronger than ever makes us really proud,” Bowen said.

The Bowen Family Foundation has raised more than $5-million and helped dozens of area nonprofits with the funds, including Casa of McLennan County, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Waco, the Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children and Inspiración.

“We do these events and all these things so we can raise the money and give it to those who really need it, who are out in the trenches really working hard,” he said.

The entertainment lineup is star studded this weekend.

On Saturday, Wade Bowen, Parker McCullum, and Deane Carter will perform. Parker McCullum was named ACM’s New Male Vocalists of the Year.

Shenandoah and Lainey Wilson, who was named ACM’s New Female Vocalist of the Year,  will take the stage Sunday followed by the crowd favorite all-star jam.

The jam is the portion of the event where several artists get on stage to perform together.  This year, that will include many of Wade’s friends like Randy Rogers, William Clark Green, Lee Roy Parnell, Casey Donahew, Josh Abbott, Jamie Lin Wilson and Stoney Larue.

Wade says the festival will be one for the books and hopes Central Texans come not just to enjoy a great show but support neighbors in need.

“It’s important that everybody realizes that every dollar stays local and does not go to national charities,” Bowen said. “When you buy a ticket to Saturday and Sunday or both days, when you buy a beer or a water, everything goes to the foundation.  I don’t make a dime.  My family doesn’t make a dime.”

Bowen said this year is shaping up to be the best year yet.

“We really feel like we’re on fire to have the best year we’ve ever had,” he said.

Early entry begins Saturday at Touchdown Alley at 5:30 p.m. and general admission is at 6 p.m.

Sunday early entry begins at 2:00 pm general admission is at 2:30 pm.

You can go to Bowenmusicfest.com for more information and to purchase tickets.

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