The McKinney City Council discussed the possibility of bringing KHYI The Range’s Texas Music Revolution (TMR) to the downtown next year as the event’s contract with Plano ends.
The country music festival was held at Southfork Ranch in Parker prior to its five-year run in Plano and thereafter grew to attract up to 6,000 people to McKinney’s southern neighbor.
Past concerts have featured artists such as Kacey Musgraves, Kiefer Sutherland, Pat Green and other notable names.
This year, TMR was scheduled for March 20-21 once again at Plano’s Oak Point Park but made the move back to Southfork July 31-Aug. 1 due to COVID-19 with an adjustment to a single-stage, drive-in format.
McKinney Main Street Program Coordinator Aaron Werner brought the item to the council work session Tuesday and went over the benefits and changes to TMR if council members decide to move forward.
Werner said for the event’s 25th year KHYI exec Joshua Jones looks to reach an agreement with McKinney and put a fresh spin on the festival that’s akin to Austin’s South by Southwest (SXSW) event to include multiple venues, namely local businesses.
“As an example of what a day during this festival could look like,” Werner said, “I would say you could kick off the festival with a singer-songwriter at Filtered coffeehouse, next up you could have a Texas musician playing at Cadillac Pizza, while another small duo is playing in Rick’s lounge. Then you could have a larger band at MPAC. Another band at the same time could be playing Local Yocal, and you would wrap the night up with a headliner at an outdoor stage that could bring in at least 800 people.”
Seeing McKinney as a growing music community – with its recent Music Friendly Community Designation – this might just be the place for the updated event.
“What people see is that McKinney is somewhere where live music is accepted and where people like to go and listen to the music, so they show up to the concerts,” Werner said.
The festival is proposed to last three days in early spring, and while the SXSW-style format presents a “learning curve,” Werner said, staff believes TMR’s quarter-decade track record shows it’s a “worthy investment.”
Although it wouldn’t take nearly the investment the city of Plano put in at $100,000 per year, TMR is looking for a multiyear contract and $65,000 from the city for talent booking. Werner said McKinney Main Street has already submitted a grant request to the Texas Commission on the Arts for $30,000 to cover much of the cost, leaving $35,000 on the tab. Part of the drop in investment is the reduction in concession vendors due to the use of local businesses. The return would come in the form of tourism-type contributions – lodging, dining, shopping, etc.
The event would also require in-kind support to ensure the safety of festivalgoers in the way of police, fire and EMTs. The estimated cost for this is $25,000.
Werner said 2021 could potentially present the need for COVID-19 contingencies, and KHYI is prepared to put those in place well ahead of time.
Werner said with council support, staff will work out an outline for an agreement to present to council members in August.