Landlocked Texas town waxes up for rad surf and music festival with Young the Giant
Forget about Huntington Beach. Surfers around the world are going to Waco — seriously. A wave pool in the Central Texas city between Dallas and Austin is becoming famous for its consistent and challenging surfing conditions. And now it's attracting big-name musicians in its first festival.
How is an artificial surfing destination pulling off both a good lineup and good waves in the middle of Texas? Thankfully, it's two different specialists. The entertainment is handled by Noise Frontier, which co-founded Willie Nelson's famously cool Luck Reunion. Noise Frontier and Waco Surf have worked together to host concerts before, but never at this scale.
“We’re excited to bring Landlock Fest to life at Waco Surf, which has already cemented itself as a mainstay in both Texas and the greater surf community, and celebrate this unique intersection of culture,” says Landlock partner Matthew Bizer. “Surf isn’t necessarily the first thought people associate with Texas, but it’s felt across the state and not just along the coast. There was no better place for Landlock Festival to call home than Waco Surf.”
This relaxed festival spreads out across three different stages, and makes use of the whole resort. Since most visitors won't be close to home, they can rent on-site accommodations including cabins, RV access, car camping, glamping, and of course the Waco Surf Hotel. Between sets, they can book surf sessions.
Somehow, that's still not all there is to do at the multifaceted three-day event. This is essentially a full beach vacation — with lots of dining and shopping options — rolled up into one Texan weekend.
The lineup includes the following artists:
- Young the Giant
- Shakey Graves
- Cory Wong
- Arcy Drive
- Colony House
- The Inkcaps
- Jupiter & Okwess
- LA LOM
- Lily Meola
- Matthew Logan Vasquez
- The McCharmlys
- The Nude Party
Pro surfers from across the country are going head-to-head in contests:
- Ivy Miller
- Matt Meola
- Balaram Stack
- Cam Richards
- Eithan Osborne
- Brianna Cope
- Albee Layer
- Emma Stone
Dining and other sporty activities
If they can find the time, guests can go on horseback rides in the surrounding trails, see professional skateboarding exhibitions, meet surf shapers (the people who make surfboards), and more across five "villages."
The Pacific Village will give a well-rounded (or maybe all-out is more appropriate) tiki experience, with a "tiki cave," Pacific island cuisine, a special cocktail program, and record store activations. The Gulf Village will be much more Texan, with pitmaster demos and pop-up bars featuring beer and tequila. The Centro Village, brings the fiesta and is very relaxation-focused, with "beachside" hangs, street tacos, surf retail, and a "late-night, poolside beach dance party."
The East and West Villages will bring more food and vendors: gin-and-tonics, lobster rolls, pizza, zero-proof beverages, juices, and even complimentary yoga for guests staying on the property.
Finally, up to 100 guests per night can purchase tickets for a "themed, intimate farm-to-table dining experience" in a unique venue. This agriculturally aware dinner echos a commitment that may be less overt: Landlock will not use any single-use plastic. Drinks will be served in reusable containers, there will be refill stations around the festival, and community partners are helping with any recycling needs.
Tickets will go on sale Thursday, February 1, at 11 am. Those include three-day passes ($325 plus taxes and fees; $750 plus taxes and fees for premium viewing access); A limited number of single-day passes will come later. Find passes and accommodations at landlockfest.com. A list of partners is also available on the site: Many will show up as beverage and retail offerings at the festival. Rockstar Energy is the main festival partner.