Organizers say they are expanding music festival’s sound

Robin Coffey

It’s been nearly a quarter-century of celebrating the Clovis sound, and festival organizers are hoping spectators from Clovis and across the world will be “amazed.”

Country act Lonestar is the signature event of the 24th annual Clovis Music Festival. The four-day event starts 6 p.m. Thursday with “Buddy! The Buddy Holly Story” at the Marshall Middle School Auditorium.

Afterward, a musical history created by Norman and Vi Petty and Buddy Holly will be honored in a pair of 7 p.m. performances at the Curry County Events Center.

Ernie Kos, executive director of the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce, said the festival organizers are excited to have Lonestar and feel they’ll add some country flavor to the rock ‘n’ roll theme of the event.

“We are trying to diversify the music this year, and expand the scope of music this year to meet everyone’s taste in music,” Kos said.

Last year approximately 5,000 people attended the Music Festival, but Kos expects Lonestar to bump up that turnout.

The Friday show, featuring Beatles cover band The Liverpool Legends and The Fireballs, has a $20 admission. The Saturday show featuring Lonestar, Tommy Allsup and Will Banister and the Mulberry Band, is $25 for entry.

The music is a hodgepodge of people who recorded, just like Holly, at the Norman Petty Studio, big national acts and small local acts.

Tommy Allsup, who recorded at the Petty studio, lost a coin flip and had to sit out the flight that later crashed and killed Holly. The Fireballs and Jonny Mulhair, producer for Will Banister and the Mulberry Band, also recorded at the studio.

Lonestar is most famous for “Amazed,” which in 1999 reached No. 1 on both the country and Billboard Hot 100 chart. The group has sold more than 6.5 million albums and posted nine No. 1 country music singles, including “I’m Already There,” and “My Front Porch Looking In.”

In addition to all the concerts, tours of the studio will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the Norman and Vi Petty Rock ‘n’ Roll Museum will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily throughout the festival for visitors to tour and a Friday grand opening of the St. Bernard Farms corn maize and pumpkin patch.

Saturday events include a car show, motorcycle rally and a “Back to the 50s” celebration at Foxy’s Drive-In. Sunday includes the motorcycle rally, a 10 a.m. gospel sing-along and a 6 p.m. patriotic concert at Marshall Auditorium.

Information is available at clovisnm.org, clovismusicfestival.net, or on Facebook. Questions can also be directed to the Chamber of Commerce at 763-3435.