Fans of the hit ABC show American Idol, or those looking to discover the next big thing in music, don’t need to look much further than the City of Richardson’s 50th Annual Cottonwood Art Festival.

Nestled in scenic Cottonwood Park, the two-day art fest will host a stunning array of musical talent including American Idol Finalist Ron Bultongez, 14-year-old pop and piano prodigy Adrian Lyles and much more Oct. 5-6.

Cottonwood’s sterling reputation as one of the most prestigious, juried art shows in the country mirrors the strong line-up of musical acts set to perform at the golden anniversary celebration. Festival-goers can not only enjoy premium, museum-quality art, but can also get up and dance with a high-energy, funky performance from The Southpaw Preachers or relax and unwind by listening to Bob Culbertson, one of the most influential touch soloists today.

“Cottonwood is all about celebrating art and music – we take great care to select musical acts that will enhance the art with a fun and accommodating atmosphere,” said Serri Ayers, Superintendent of Community Events for the City of Richardson. “It’s special to celebrate Cottonwood’s 50th anniversary with accomplished singer-songwriters, rising up-and-comers, American Idol favorites and more. It will be an unforgettable weekend.” 

Musical performances will include a variety of genres, such as rock, country, jazz, blues, swing and folk. Performances will be held on both the Lakeside Courtyard Main Stage and Acoustic Stage. Craft beer, wine and frozen margaritas will be available for purchase. Parking and admission are free.

Texas Flood Cottonwood Art Festival

The schedule of musical performances includes:

Saturday, Oct. 5: 

Courtyard Main Stage

  • Adrian Lyles (10 a.m.): Adrian Lyles has been playing the piano since the age of 3. He is a musically passionate 14-year-old who performs pop songs and aspires to be a pop performer and leader in the music industry.
  • The Gibbonses (11:45 a.m.): The Gibbonses are a husband and wife band based out of Dallas who combine a unique blend of Southern soul, Americana and rhythm and blues with raw passion and brutally honest songwriting to create a high-energy, intimate stage show that is not to be missed.

· Ron Bultongez (1:30 p.m.): Singer-songwriter Ron Bultongez is living the American dream. He has gone from growing up in the Democratic Republic of Congo to being named the “Hometown Hero” of Plano and becoming a Top 24 Finalist on American Idol 2018.

· Big Joe Walker (3:30 p.m.): There are several words that can be used to describe Big Joe Walker and his music. Sincere, bold and personally familiar are a few to come to mind! Whether he’s crooning an original song on his acoustic guitar or pounding a piano and belting out a raucous version of Jimi Hendrix’s “Red House,” Big Joe puts his immense heart and soul into every performance.

  • The Southpaw Preachers (5:30 p.m.): The Southpaw Preachers are a high-energy, highly funky act that draws inspiration from an eclectic mix of soul, funk blues, jazz, hip hop, R&B and hard-hitting rock n’ roll.

American Idol Finalist Ron Bultongez

Acoustic Stage

  • Myah Mayhew (11 a.m.): Myah Mayhew is a talented local singer, musician and songwriter.
  • Bill Hook (1 p.m.): Bill Hook is a local guitarist and singer-songwriter who plays a wide range of covers and originals and always puts on a great show.
  • Shelby Ballenger (3 p.m.): Shelby Ballenger is a singer-songwriter from the small town of Princeton, Texas. Her music resembles those such as Stoney Larue, Kasey Musgraves and Miranda Lambert.

Sunday, Oct. 6:  

Courtyard Main Stage

  • Bob Culbertson (10 a.m.): Bob Culbertson is one of the most influential touch soloists today. His musical style ranges from world sounds of Celtic, Spanish, eastern and classical to blues and the Beatles.
  • Christopher Mills Band (11:45 a.m.): Smooth and soulful vocals mixed with grit and dirt of an alternative and country sound give a Christopher Mills show a signature all its own. Now touring with the The Christopher Mills Band, which includes Dusty Mattson (guitar), Jeff Bankston (bass) and Chris Dykgraff (drums), there is excitement with every show.
  • The Gawd Almighties (1:30 p.m.): If you have ever wondered what it would be like to attend an old-fashioned tent revival on a Friday night, then look no further than The Gawd Almighties. Their brand of tunes will have you getting up off your seat and moving your whole body to the beat.
  • Texas Flood (3:30 p.m.): Introducing Texas Flood, the premier tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan and the blues. They play a plethora of your favorites including “Pride and Joy,” “Texas Flood,” “Voodoo Chile,” “Born Under a Bad Sign” and many more.

Justin Kemp Cottonwood Art Festival

Acoustic Stage

  • Zech Lumpkin (11 a.m.): Enjoy the musical stylings of local singer-songwriter from Richardson, TX.
  • Adrian Lyles (1 p.m.): In a repeat performance, Lyles will perform on the Acoustic Stage following his Saturday performance on the Courtyard Main Stage.
  • Justin Kemp (3 p.m.): Justin Kemp is a singer-songwriter who was born in Louisiana before settling in Dallas. With over 25 years’ experience on the music scene, his main passion is songwriting.

About Cottonwood Art Festival

Now in its 50th year, the semiannual Cottonwood Art Festival is a juried show.  Jurors have selected more than 240 artists to exhibit their museum-quality work at the festival. The artists compete in 14 categories: 2D Mixed Media, 3D Mixed Media, Ceramics, Digital, Drawings/Pastels, Fiber, Glass, Jewelry, Leather, Metalwork, Painting, Photography, Sculpture and Wood. The artists’ works are available for purchase, as are food and beverages.

  • The Fall 2019 festival dates are Oct. 5-6.
  • Cottonwood Park is located at 1321 W. Belt Line Rd., one block east of Coit Road in Richardson, TX.
  • Parking and admission are free.

Whether shopping for art, listening to music, enjoying the outdoors, or making art of your own – Cottonwood has something for everyone.