By: Stacy Keith
Lubbock, Texas is often known for its flatlands, sunsets and never-ending vistas, but you may not know Lubbock is also known regionally for its many festivals throughout the year. In the spirit of gathering again and the thriving arts community in Lubbock, I thought it appropriate to do a Lubbock festival rundown and hit a few of the signature events happening in the Hub City.
Grab your fanny pack and your sunglasses – here we go!
Buddy Holly Songwriters Retreat and Showcase is planned and produced by Lubbock Entertainment and Performing Arts Association (LEPAA) and the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation to honor the songwriting legacy of the iconic rock ‘n roll legend. Bringing together nationally known songwriters from around the world, many of whom knew Holly personally, this is an event like no other. A weeklong intensive of great songwriting collaboration ending with a showcase celebration of composed songs, it is a festival for songwriters and song lovers of all genres
The Garden and Arts Center Fall Festival is held at the Municipal Garden and Arts Center. For over 50 years this gem in the center of Lubbock has created a fun vibe with outdoor booth spaces, music, food and art exhibits. This FREE event celebrates the diversity of Lubbock through showcasing original pieces of work and encouraging the community to support the many artists located here. A family oriented event there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Caprock Jazz Festival is headlined by Jazz great and Lubbock’s native son Tom Braxton. Braxton brings his stellar saxophone instrumentation and other award-winning jazz artists to this festival each year. The event is held to benefit Lubbock’s Roots Historical Society and Caviel African American Museum and support the outreach and programs these vital organizations provide to the East Lubbock community.
JAB Fest was founded by Lubbock’s own Josh Abbott. Bringing with him a show stopping line up of musician friends, Abbott makes his way to the “Hub City” for this multi-day music experience. Enjoy some of the best music Texas has to offer under the Lubbock lights.
Flatland Film Festival is in its 18th year celebrating independent films and film makers. As LHUCA opens the Firehouse Theater to create the ultimate film venue this multi-day event provides the opportunity to view new shorts, documentaries, and feature length films in a great environment. Held in the Lubbock Cultural District in partnership with TTU Public Television, this mid-size film festival has something for everyone.
New in 2021, was the Lubbock Book Festival. This free, two-day event connects authors and readers through a celebration of literacy, creativity, and stories! Featuring diverse genres for a variety of readers – the event highlights the thriving author culture deeply rooted in the South Plains! The festival features authors, engaging panels, chummy book signings, educational writing workshops, and delightful family-fun crafts and activities. Finally, this unique event is a fundraiser for Literacy Lubbock’s educational programs.
Lubbock Arts Festival an annual April tradition in Lubbock for more than a decade, this multi-day event brings in the best of visual arts and performing artists to create a fantastic family friendly event. Featured artists each year present presentations at the opening night events and there is also a wonderful juried exhibition and lots of children’s activities.
Buffalo Grass Fest is a new event which features a national level artist in a live performance venue along with educational elements for music students and professional musicians. Whether you’re a student of music or just a music lover – this young event is fun and fresh.
Cotton Fest by Cooks Garage always features great live music at their amazing new outdoor stage area for a true festival vibe. Cotton Fest brings in such artists as William Clark Green, Slade Coulter, and Ox Martin. Mixing great Texas artists for a great show and unforgettable time.
4th on Broadway Festival is the perfect way to celebrate America’s Birthday. With a day of food, music and fun for the entire family with the evening celebrated by a festive fireworks celebration to remember, there’s no better place to be on this national oliday than Lubbock! National headliners top the entertainment annually alongside many of Lubbock’s favorite musicians for this great community event.
Lubbock Live Festival was started in 2021 by local musician and songwriter Jeremy Couture to raise funds for a local arts organization each year. Bringing together Lubbock talent in the beautiful LHUCA plaza located in the heart of the Cultural District, Lubbock Live is a hip and modern one day festival event great for the entire family featuring not only great music, but pop up art exhibits and plenty of food trucks to enjoy.
In addition to these unique events, every month there is a small festival in the Cultural District with First Friday Art Trails and CASP Block Parties both of these events will surely satisfy a variety of tastes for the arts. So, why wait? Check out Lubbock because…”West Texas is Fest Texas”!