Josh Abbott to headline 2018 River Fest

The Josh Abbott Band, one of Texas country music’s most popular acts, headlines the All American Chevrolet 2018 River Fest, which returns to the banks of the Concho River Sept. 14-15.

This year’s event features two concerts, a competitive washer-pitching tournament and a teeming kids court. As in years past, many River Fest activities are free.

Tickets to the Josh Abbott concert on Saturday, Sept. 15, at the RiverStage are on sale only at All tickets are general admission and cost $20. VIP packages, which include access to a backstage VIP tent, are available for $60 each. Gates to the RiverStage will open at 6 p.m. The music will start at 7 p.m. with opening acts Granger Smith featuring Earl Dibbles Jr. The concert will occur rain or shine. There will be no refunds or exchanges of tickets.

Abbott formed his band in 2006 while a student at Texas Tech University. The band recorded its debut album, “Scapegoat,” in 2008. Abbott’s third album, “Small Town Family Dream” in 2012, was his most successful, peaking at No. 5 on Billboard’s country chart and No. 2 on its independent albums chart. The band followed that up with another top 10 country album, “Front Row Seat” in 2015, and released “Until My Voice Goes Out” last August.

River Fest’s festivities begin Friday, Sept. 14, with a concert headlined by Tejano artist Stefani Montiel. Tejano Fest on the River will also feature Zavala, the Selena tribute band Bidi Bidi Banda, DJ Sancho, Funky Munky, and the Brice Daniels Band. The music will begin at 6 p.m. at the Bill Aylor Sr. Memorial RiverStage, 18 E. Avenue A, and continue through midnight. Gates open at 5 p.m.

Tickets to the Friday night concert cost $13 and are on sale now. They can be purchased at Blair’s Western Wear at 4230 Sherwood Way, Fernandez Restaurant at 817 N. Chadbourne St., and Lone Wolf Pub at 115 Paint Rock Road.

Children 12 and younger will be admitted free with an adult to both the Friday and Saturday night concerts (free admittance for children does not apply to the VIP area). Folding chairs and blankets are allowed on the RiverStage’s lawn at both shows. Outside food and drinks may not be brought into the venue.

A six-time Grammy nominee, Montiel was named the Entertainer of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year last year at the Tejano Music Awards. Since recording her first album at the age of 9, she has recorded more than a dozen albums for major labels such as Capitol EMI and Sony Discos. Her most recent album, “La Duena,” was released in 2016.

Also Friday and Saturday nights, the Southside Lions Club will host its annual Fiestas Patrias celebrating Mexican independence at El Paseo de Santa Angela, 20 E. Avenue D. The celebration, including food, music and dancing, begins each evening at 6:30 p.m. and will continue until midnight.

River Fest’s fun continues all day Saturday, Sept. 15. Many River Fest activities are free. Wristbands that grant unlimited access to the Kids Court will cost $5.

A new addition to this year’s River Fest is the Run with Heroes Operation Blue Shield Superhero 5K and Family Mile. Pre-registration is available at The cost is $10 for youth and seniors, and $20 for adults. On race day, packet pickup and late registration will be from 7:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m. at 141 W. Concho Ave. The race will be preceded by an opening ceremony at 8:30 a.m. The race will start at 9 a.m. at Bart DeWitt Park in the parking lots at West Concho Avenue and Magdalen Street. The awards ceremony will be at 10:15 a.m.

Among other River Fest offerings will be a six-on-six volleyball tournament, a three-player scramble at Santa Fe Golf Course, the annual Lily Fest, Girl Scout canoe races and an adult Olympics. The lineup includes:

  • 9 a.m.-noon – Lily Fest. Civic League Park, 2 S. Park St.
  • 10 a.m.-noon – Three-player scramble golf tournament, Santa Fe Golf Course. Registration is $25 per player at the course’s clubhouse at 111 W. Veterans Memorial Drive (formerly River Drive).
  • 10 a.m.-2 p.m. – Six-on-six sand volleyball tournament, sponsored by KISS-FM, at The Bosque. The teams will be coed with a minimum of two males and two females on the sand at all times. The cost is $10 per player, paid on the day of the event. Registration will be courtside at The Bosque from 9 a.m.-9:30 a.m. Sept. 15, and will be limited to six teams. Play begins at 10 a.m., with cash prizes awarded by San Angelo Host. There will be no pre-registration for this event.
  • 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Kids Court, featuring a petting zoo, pony rides, bounce houses, a zip line, trampolines, water guns, kayaking and more in the Neff’s area. Unlimited access bracelets will be available for $5.
  • 10 a.m.-7 p.m. – Concessions and vendors in the Neff’s area.
  • 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. – Happy Trails Kayaks at Celebration Bridge. The $5 wristband for the Kids Court includes this and paddleboat rides at The Bosque.
  • 11 a.m.-noon – Free kids washer-pitching at The Bosque.
  • 11 a.m.-6 p.m.Kids flag football games in the Neff’s area.
  • Noon-7 p.m. – Live music presented by BackBeat Music Co. on the Chadbourne Stage under the Chadbourne Street bridge.
  • 1 p.m.-7 p.m. – Vega washer-pitching tournament in the games court in The Bosque. Registration is $50 per team. For more information, visit the Vega Washer Pitching Facebook page.
  • 2 p.m.-4 p.m. – Girl Scout canoe races on the Concho River. For a $500 donation benefitting Little House, sponsors may race a canoe. Register for the event from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays at Little House, 304 Avenue A.
  • 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. – Adult Olympics. For those 18 and older, this event will feature crazy Olympic-styled games that the competitors won’t know about until the event. Teams of three to five people may register for $20 from Aug. 17-Sept. 13 at or at the Recreation office, 702 S. Chadbourne St. Check-in will be under the Oakes Street bridge at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 15. Participants are encouraged to wear matching uniforms of workout clothes and sneakers. Teams will compete in 10 games of skill and knowledge. The team with the most points at the end wins.
  • 4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Recreation canoe races on the Concho River. The City’s Recreation division is sponsoring two-man canoe races. Registration is $10 from Aug. 17 to 5 p.m. Sept. 13, and is limited to 10 teams. Teams can register at or at the Recreation office at 702 S. Chadbourne St. from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays. Trophies will be awarded to the three fastest teams.
  • 6 p.m.-10:30 p.m. – Adults-only event at Love Municipal Pool, 18 E. Avenue A. Admission is $10 per person. Adult drinks, other beverages and food will be available for sale inside the pool.
  • 6 p.m.-10:30 p.m. – Josh Abbott Band concert at the Bill Aylor Sr. Memorial RiverStage.

The schedule could change because of weather. Look for updates on the City of San Angelo-Public Information Facebook page.

This is the sixth annual River Fest, which is again sponsored by All American Chevrolet.

For more information, go here.

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