‘Harvey Can’t Mess With Texas’ benefit at Erwin Center will feature Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, Leon Bridges, Lyle Lovett and more

UPDATE: Tickets to the “Harvey Can’t Mess With Texas” benefit sold out in less than 24 hours, event organizers confirmed on Thursday.

Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, Leon Bridges, Lyle Lovett and Edie Brickell & New Bohemians head up “Harvey Can’t Mess With Texas: A Benefit Concert for Hurricane Harvey Relief,” an all-star event and telethon set for September 22 at the Erwin Center.

Tickets to the four-hour concert, which runs from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., go on sale at 3 p.m. Wednesday, September 13, via RebuildTX.org for $30 to $199. TEGNA stations (including Austin’s KVUE-TV) will air a segment of the concert from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m., with live streaming on YouTube provided by Google.

Willie Nelson tops an all-star cast playing the “Harvey Can’t Mess With Texas” hurricane relief benefit concert at the Erwin Center on September 22. Suzanne Cordeiro for American-Statesman 2016

Billed as “the largest live concert benefit in Texas” for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, the event follows Tuesday night’s “Hand in Hand” national telethon event that included a show with George Strait, Miranda Lambert, Chris Stapleton and others at San Antonio’s Majestic Theatre.

Others scheduled to appear at the Erwin Center event include Matthew McConaughey, Dan Rather, Renée Zellweger, Luke Wilson, Austin mayor Steve Adler and Houston chief of Police Art Acevedo. Additional musical performers include Ryan Bingham, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats and the Mexican pop duo Ha*Ash.

The concert will feature “exclusive performances and rare collaborations,” according to a press release announcing the event. Asleep at the Wheel will be the house band, and Charlie Sexton will serve as music director.

Paul Simon will be part of the “Harvey Can’t Mess With Texas” benefit at the Erwin Center on September 22, 2017. Scott Newton for KLRU-TV/Austin City Limits 2016

Proceeds will benefit the Rebuild Texas Fund, created by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation in collaboration with the OneStar Foundation. According to the Rebuild Texas website, the fund “will support community partners in four focus areas — health and housing; schools and child care; workforce and transportation; and capital for rebuilding small businesses.” The concert is part of the Dell Foundation’s effort to raise $100 million toward hurricane recovery efforts.

READ MORE: Dells launch $100 million Rebuild Texas campaign in response to Harvey

“This fund was created to help rebuild all of the communities, big and small, that have been devastated by Hurricane Harvey,” Houston native Michael Dell said in the event’s press release. “We will be rebuilding for years to come.” His wife, native Texan Susan Dell, added, “For us, this is personal.”

Besides Austin’s KVUE, other TEGNA stations set to air the concert are WFAA in Dallas, KHOU in Houston, KENS in San Antonio, KBMT in Beaumont, KCEN in Waco-Temple-Bryan, KAGS in College Station, KIII in Corpus Christi, KIDY in San Angelo, KXVA in Abilene and KYTX in Tyler. The telecast will air without commercials.

In addition, an hour of the event will stream internationally on YouTube.com/TexasStrong from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. Central Time. Google will match $500,000 in telethon donations, with volunteers from Google’s Austin office and employees of TEGNA working the telethon phone banks. Donations also will be accepted at the RebuildTX.org website.

“The outpouring of support from the local community and communities across the nation is a testament to the spirit, grit and determination of the people of Texas,” said TEGNA president/CEO Dave Lougee.

Leon Bridges will be part of the “Harvey Can’t Mess With Texas” benefit at the Erwin Center on September 22, 2017. Scott Newton for KLRU-TV/Austin City Limits 2015

The concert is the biggest fundraiser to be held at the Erwin Center since a 2011 benefit for victims of Bastrop wildfires that included performances by Nelson, Strait, the Dixie Chicks, Lovett and others.

Others who have donated “efforts and services” to the event, according to the press release, include the Erwin Center, Springboard Productions, Solomon Group, Big House Sounds, Soundcheck Austin, Hotel Van Zandt, Sodexo, GSD&M, Andy Langer, the Texas Music Office and the City of Austin. TEGNA is producing the broadcast in partnership with Debra Davis Productions. Austin company C3 Presents is producing the live event and also is donating all its services.

Media partners are KUT/KUTX, 93.3 KGSR, 103.5 BOB FM, 101X, 93.7 KLBJ, MIX 94.7, Majic 95.5, 95.9 R&B, 98.1 KVET, the Austin American-Statesman and Austin360.com, the Austin Chronicle, and Do512.

The official poster for the “Harvey Can’t Mess With Texas” benefit concert at the Erwin Center on September 22, 2017.


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