A close friend of mine, who is steeped into the local music scene, recently told me that Fort Worth could use a good music festival. I caught his dry humor. The truth is, there’s no shortage of great multi-day music events in the 817 like the ClearFork, Fort Worth Opera, and Fort Worth Weekly Music Awards Festival, to name a few. Even with these great choices there’s only one Fort Worth Music Festival, though, and it’s happening May 16 and 17 at Panther Island Pavilion, just north of downtown.

Now in its fourth year, the festival has grown into a truly Texas-sized event. The show’s organizers have done a great job of balancing a wide range of music genres that reflect Fort Worth’s rich jazz, rock, and country heritage. This year’s headliners are Lucinda Williams (performing Friday) and Jimmy Eat World (performing Saturday), but the all-day concerts present several equally talented, if slightly lesser known, bands from the area.  

Case in point: make sure to check out the Quaker City Night Hawks on Friday. The locally based quintet features a rich groove-based rock style that’s grounded in the good ol’ blues. Soaring guitar solos and intricate multi-part vocals round out their always crowd-pleasing sound. Another local band featured Saturday, Ice Eater, has a penchant for creating amorphous sonic soundscapes with 80’s-esque synth sounds, off kilter beats, and iridescent harmonies.   

All of these pleasantries will be presented on two platforms — the Rahr and Shiner stages. This brings me to my second topic, namely, beer. A confidential source told me that Rahr will be serving rare and seasonal brews in their Rahr Beer Garden both days. Was this the same friend who was joking about Fort Worth needing a music festival? Maybe, but we never joke about beer-related topics.