Memories of the Larry Joe Taylor Music Festival

There are many memories that stem from the annual Larry Joe Taylor Music Festival in Stephenville, Texas each year. One would hope that it would be the music or artist you got to meet, sing along with or maybe discovered for the first time. I’m still positive those moment still took place in 2017. But….

This year in the midst of celebrating of our beloved Texas / Red Dirt music scene, one Wednesday night celebration, according to some, got out of hand at the end of the Sam Riggs set. Over the past six days, many theories have been thrown around about what went down and how it went down. The line was drawn and sides were taken.

Sam was our guest this past week on TXRDR and you’ll hear that full interview on this week’s show. Larry Joe Taylor was scheduled to speak with TXRDR on our flagship station (95.9 The Ranch / Ft. Worth) Tuesday May 2nd.

Some this content from both the festival and our interview with Sam was posted on the TXRDR social networks. It was removed at the request of both parties. Both Sam and the LJT Festival met on Monday (May 1st) and settled on the following statement to try and bring this entire ordeal closure.

Back when I was asked to be on the festival for 2017, I asked if I could use pyrotechnics during

my set. The answer was a resounding “no”. I have a passion for the stage and I love giving the

crowd a show, so I chose to use fire during my set regardless by setting a damaged and broken

guitar on fire on stage. I had a fire extinguisher standing by, and while I did not advise anyone

from my staff to lie about what it was to be used for, my tour manager told the LJT stage manager that “it was a safety precaution because we were having issues with our sound equipment.” So the dishonesty involving my crew did take place and I am ultimately responsible for actions they take on my behalf.

I did all of this without permission, and at my own accord, which put the LJT Fest at a huge risk.

I have a lot of passion for music, my fans, and the live show, so I mentally justified my decision

without going through the proper channels. I have the utmost respect for the Taylor family, and I realize that my actions put the festival and the fans at risk. My actions came off as disrespectful and even blasphemous to some, not only on the safety aspect of it but by destroying a musical instrument despite its condition. This was certainly not my intention.

I sometimes have a tendency to get carried away on stage and this time it affected more than just me. I was asked to leave the property after my set, and did so promptly. I was not escorted off the property, I peacefully left after the Taylors asked me to.

LJT Music Festival is a fun and safe place and should be regarded with respect. I will never

apologize for my passion on stage, but I DO offer my utmost apologies to the Taylor family for

crossing a line they’d clearly drawn , for putting anyone at risk.

Sam Riggs

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