ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – It’s time to get your cowboy boots and lawn chairs ready: Outlaws and Legends is nearly upon us.
With the festival on its ninth year, visitors seem to come back for more than just the music, as the event has help put West Texas on the map.
“We’ve got 27 states and 7 countries where the people…they fly into Abilene not knowing where Abilene is beforehand,” says Outlaws and Legends founder Mark Powell.
The Outlaws and Legends Musical Festival has always prioritized quality over quantity, Powell says.
“When our tourists and stuff say that it’s friendly and it’s family oriented and all that stuff, that means we are driving home. I want it to feel like the Backporch of Texas,” he says.
That backporch welcoming all walks of life.
“If you haven’t been before you know, you’ll see 10-year-old kids and you’ll see 90-year-old people there,” Powell says. “Every single person, if they come one time they come for life, and so that applies to people in Italy as it does in Snyder.”
With the festival selling out in 2018 and thousands expected to attend this year, Kelly Thompson at the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau is looking forward to another great year for the City of Abilene.
“Outlaws and Legends has an economic impact of about $1.1 million when you count all of the people who stay at hotels, people who come with RVs, and they’re going to gas up, there’s just a lot of ways that people spend money in the community,” Thomspon says.
Even as world-renowned artists take the stage, Thompson says the biggest attraction to Outlaws and Legends is a warm welcome.
“Be friendly to visitors when they come in town, and that’s actually what a lot of his guests say is that they really experience the friendly attitude around here and that’s something that keeps them coming back,” Thompson says.
Overall, 25 percent of the festival’s ticket sales benefit Ben Richey Boy’s Ranch, with over $300,000 being raised so far this year.
If you’d like to buy tickets to Outlaws and Legends, click here.