Raise the stars and stripes right here: The Picnic stays in Austin. Willie Nelson brought his iconic Fourth of July bash back home from Fort Worth in 2015, and things went well enough out at Circuit of the Americas to warrant a return engagement there this year.
More than 20 acts will join Nelson and his Family Band, including fellow Highwayman and living legend Kris Kristofferson, a pairing of renowned singers Jamey Johnson and Alison Krauss, contemporary hitmaker Brantley Gilbert, old-school Picnic favorites Leon Russell and Billy Joe Shaver, and younger upstarts Margo Price and Shakey Graves.
Also on the bill are Lee Ann Womack, Jamestown Revival, Johnny Bush, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Cody Johnson, Asleep at the Wheel, David Allan Coe, Dallas Wayne and Amber Digby, along with extended representatives of the Nelson clan in Paula Nelson, the Raelyn Nelson Band and Folk Uke (which includes Amy Nelson).
Like last year, music will be presented both at the Austin 360 Amphitheater and on a smaller stage in the venue’s Grand Plaza, which has both standing-room areas and picnic-table seating. The evening entertainment also will include a fireworks display.
Tickets are $85 for reserved seats in the Amphitheater, $65 for the general-admission standing-room pit up front and $39.50 and up for general-admission lawn seating. VIP packages run $300-$500. All tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, May 20, via ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000.
Gates open at 11 a.m. Set times have not yet been announced; last year, music in the Grand Plaza started around noon, with Amphitheater performances beginning mid-late afternoon. Premium parking lots will open at 9 a.m., with standard lots (included in the ticket price) opening at 10 a.m. The ticket office also offers options for purchasing RV parking or campsites; in addition, the Circuit of the Americas website includes a hotel booking service.