Free Press Summer Festival: Then and Now


In 2009, locally owned publication Free Press Houston founded and produced one of Houston’s largest 2 day music festivals, “Free Press Summer Festival”. The concept was to highlight local performers/artists and bring big names to headline the festival. It was hip, it was cool, it was massive and it was giving Houston a name.

Over the next 7 years, the festival became wildly popular with line ups that covered much ground on the current music scene from indie rock, rap, electronic music and more… However, with the big success, came big buyers at their front door. In 2016, Free Press Summer Festival was sold to Austin based C3 Presents (Lollapalooza, Bonaroo, ACL) which is largely owned by Live Nation.

Since the new ownership, fans have noticed a difference in FPSF. The venue changed from Eleanor Tinsley Park to the parking lot of NRG stadium (talk about a scenery change) and then back to the park again. The line up became diluted and finally, the date change from August to June invited the hurricane season to ravage the outdoor festival.

This year, The Department of Dance attended FPSF, but much like the past 4 years, the weather had a big part in the weekend. We were rained out and evacuated both days, only being able to see part of one set (G-Eazy).

After several years of the same weather result, patrons are really starting to lose interest and hope for the future of Free Press Summer Festival. As Day For Night enters the scene as Houston’s newest 2 day music festival, FPSF is left with their work cut out for them.

About Chris

Chris Zane is Houston DJ and DOD contributor, holding residencies at nightclubs such as Rich's, Rosemont and The Boulevardier. Zane has also hosted University of Houston podcasts "The Morning BPM" and "The Zephyr Lounge".

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