Austin is a city known for its music-loving populace, and this year, the city gets in on the fun of Houston’s annual Bowie Elvis Fest or BowiElvis Fest. The event celebrates the birthday of rock icons David Bowie and Elvis Presley, who were both born on Jan. 8.
Article by Jackie Ruth
Houston independent label Splice Records is partnering with Saint Arnold’s Brewing Company, among others, to bring the party to the Empire Control Room and Garage on Saturday, Jan. 14. Starting 7 p.m., fans will be able to experience the live music, the “Oh You Pretty Things” costume contest, the themed games and Houston burlesque troupe Dem Damn Dames. The party will be one fit for a king – or two.
It began with Hank Schyma of Houston band Southern Backtones, who commemorated Elvis’s birthday each year at local venue AvantGarden. In 2010, it became Bowie Elvis Fest, and 2017 will mark both the 8th annual festival and the first year Austin gets to experience the music, costumes and other celebratory activities. This also marks the first year that it will be taking place after the death of Bowie, who passed just 24 hours after the 2016 celebration.
“What started as a tribute to Elvis has morphed into a really cool tradition here in Houston and we are so excited for our first year in Austin!” said Schyma, adding, “The immensely talented acts that are slated to play honor these icons in their own unique way and the fans always show up in their best costumes to pay tribute to these musical geniuses.”
Splice co-founder Shaun Brennan says, “To be involved in an event that celebrates the shared birthdays of two rock and roll icons is an honor. Splice Records looks forward to the opportunity to be involved in something bigger than us; the spirit in the air will be unmatched.”
Local comedian John Mills-McCoin will be serving as Master of Ceremonies, and the live music lineup includes John Evans, Henry + The Invisibles, Nic Armstrong & The Thieves, Hector Ward & The Big Time, Pecos Hank, Edison Chair, Marshall Moon and Friends, and Monoceja, who are performing a Spanish-language tribute to both musicians.
Tickets can be found in advance on EventBrite or bought at the door on the night of the fest.
Originally hailing from Pennsylvania, Jackie has called Austin home since choosing to attend the University of Texas, where she graduated with a degree in multimedia journalism. She loves spending time with her dog, writing about pop culture in all its forms and spending time with friends – eating, drinking and doing trivia. You can follow Jackie on Twitter and Instagram.