Words & Photos by: Brittany NO FOMO
You can feel the love and untainted intention behind this cherished annual event.
While thousands of music fans and industry people roamed the streets of Austin on the search for new music and drinking back beers to make the aches of their feet subside, the folks in-the-know drove 45 mins out of town to Willie Nelson’s Luck Ranch for the pinnacle festival within a festival: Luck Reunion.
The seventh annual Luck Reunion produced by Ellee Fletcher, Matt Bizer and Scott Marsh, epitomizes what this scene is all about: enjoying pure country, soul, and Americana music among locals in cowboy clad for a genuine, non-commercialized music experience. An entire day was spent soaking in the organic energy of the crowd and twangs of the music, all which felt very much like home.
“This is paradise,” Caleb Caudle country singer-songwriter described the scene to us backstage of the World Headquarters stage. “This is what heaven is.”
We couldn’t agree more. Surrounded by horses, 3,000 guests explored the grounds in cowboy boots to discover emerging and legendary talent across five stages, one being an intimate chapel and the other being a tucked away stage in a barn to surprise acts equipped with free Tito’s cocktails. Every barn, saloon, and structure seemed like an untouched paradise, which we discovered was with reason – the farm was originally a movie set constructed for the 1986 film version of Nelson’s ‘70s concept album Red Headed Stranger. Needless to say, the stories behind Luck Reunion couldn’t get any richer.
The day offered endless options for guests between discovering new music under tents, easting some of the state’s best cousine curated by The Austin Food & Wine Alliance Corral, shopping vintage scores, or scoring a new tattoo. For the lucky artists, their day was validated with an invite into Willie’s bus to have an exclusive listen to a new track off of his new album Last Man Standing out April 27th as mary jane swirled through the air. Each artist was asked questions about Nelson and the song on camera to become part of Luck Journal. As they put it, it’s a, “love letter to the places and artists that inspire us, and your year-round ticket to the Reunion experience: a trove of never-before-seen footage, artist profiles, backstage content, and more – carefully curated by the crazy, grassroots collective behind it all.”