PORT ARANSAS, Texas — Port Aransas is joining the ranks of 25 other Texas cities as Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Wednesday that the city has been designated as a Music Friendly Community by the Texas Music Office.
“It’s been kind of the vibe and the essence of this island," said Brett Stawar, president and CEO of Port Aransas Tourism Bureau and Chamber of Commerce. "So, to be formally recognized by the state of Texas and Governor Abbott’s office is an extreme pleasure to us here in Port A.”
The city began the extensive application process six weeks ago. It involved representatives from Texas Music Office travel to Port Aransas to meet with live artists.
"Music Friendly Communities certified by the Texas Music Office are serious about attracting and developing the local music industry to spur job creation and economic growth. I congratulate Port Aransas on earning the Music Friendly Community designation, and I look forward to amplifying their continued success," said Abbott in a release.
“We’re excited to have this music designation," Lee Harper said, general manager of The Back Porch Bar. "We feel very fortunate to have gotten it and we already have a lot of great live music and we’re just hoping to get bigger and better acts.”
Port Aransas joins more than 25 other Texas cities that have received the official Music Friendly Community designation. These cities include Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Denton, Lindale, Stephenville, Conroe, San Angelo, Nacogdoches, Abilene, McKinney, Waxahachie, Waco, Alpine, Bastrop, New Braunfels, Victoria, Lubbock, Denison, Arlington, Brenham, Dripping Springs, Round Rock, El Paso, Odessa, Vidor, and Grand Prairie.
The designation means Port Aransas joins this network of cities to help promote and grow the music industry in their own cities.
To celebrate the achievement, the City of Port Aransas, Visit Port Aransas, and the Texas Music Office are inviting the community to join them as they officially designate the community at the kick-off of the Port A Music Fest on Friday, September 17 at Palmilla Golf Resort at 7 p.m.
The Live Music Fest runs Friday through Sunday bringing 34 musical acts to 13 different venues.
“We’ve got entertainers coming from throughout the state of Texas," said Stawar. "A lot from Austin and different places. So, we’re excited. This band we have tonight (Friday) is actually coming from all parts of the country but it’s The Landsharks Band for Jimmy Buffett.”
"We're excited to bring some new folks in that maybe have never seen The Back Porch, never been here," Harper said. "See the great view, cold drinks and the great service that we provide. And we just hope that it helps people realize just what a great place Port Aransas is for live music."
“We’ve been playing live music at Shorty’s for a very long time," Edwin Myers said, operator of Shorty's and Cody's bars. "And it’s always exciting to get this intimate feel here on the porch. It’s not a very big venue. And it's a great way to get up and close with all the live artists that play here.”
Stawar said some venues may charge a small cover.
In conjunction with the festival, a taco and margarita trail will be going on as well. You'll be able to taste test from eight different eateries.
Tickets for the kick-off event are available for purchase upon arrival at the gate.
According to Abbott, in 2019 the Texas music industry created more than 210,000 direct and indirect permanent jobs all across the state and generated $27.3 billion in economic activity.