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5 Best Band Festivals in Texas!

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by Rhoda Venture
Performance Trip

As a band mom, I’ve become something of a band festival expert. I’ve been to festivals that pack a punch, and festivals that remind me to pack Tylenol.  I’ve seen performances that leave the crowds spellbound, and those that… don’t.  What I’ve learned is that the best band festivals are a great mix of teaching, learning, performing, and fun!

If you’re looking for a top-notch festival, here are some that check all the boxes.  These are truly the 5 best band festivals in Texas!

Classic Performance Series by Animado Events

Animado Events is bringing the Classic Performance Series to middle and high schools under the direction of George Strickland, a heavy-hitter in the Texas band world.  Each festival in the series is a competitive experience with expert adjudicators and high-quality feedback.

Epic Waters Festival

April 22 and May 13, 2023

This is an incredible performance festival in an “epic” venue students love!  The Epic Waters Festival in Grand Prairie, Texas is a competitive festival that inspires, instructs, and encourages young musicians to shine brightly in a new, state-of-the-art theater.

Participants receive a post-performance review and premium awards for all ratings.  A performance recording is part of the package, along with helpful feedback and ratings from adjudicators.

After an amazing performance experience, students can relax poolside… in 80,000 sq. feet of watery fun!  They’ll splash and slide at the Epic Waters, the largest indoor waterpark in North Texas.  Each group gets its own cabana to make stowing student bags and chaperone check-on times a breeze.

Every participant also gets a gaming card to use in the gigantic arcade packed with classic favorites (Pac Man?? Yes, please!) along with new games that I can’t begin to figure out!


What’s Included:

  • Indoor performance at Epic Theater
  • Option for rating or comments only
  • Experienced adjudicators
  • Post-performance adjudicator review
  • Premium awards for all ratings (no awards ceremony)
  • Outstanding Performance Award
  • Performance recording
  • Admission to Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark
  • Arcade game card
  • Hamburger/hot dog, chips, and a drink


Shenaniganz Festival

April 21 and May 5, 2023

This performance festival is filled with the kind of “shenaniganz” that every student loves!  The Shenaniganz Festival in Rockwall, Texas is a high-energy, competitive two-day festival in a fun, family-friendly environment.  Young performers have a great time learning and lighting up the Shenaniganz stage.

Just like the Epic Waters Festival, skilled adjudicators at the Shenaniganz Festival review, rate, and offer feedback to performance groups.  Premium awards and an Outstanding Performance Award are given but you don’t have to sit through an awards ceremony to get one!

Instead, students can get right to the fun at Shenaniganz Entertainment Center.  There’s gaming, laser tag, bowling, bumper cars, VR, and all the good stuff that kids love!

Oh- and did I mention?  Each participant also gets an unlimited buffet with pizza, pasta, salad, drinks, and dessert.  If you spend any time at all with teenagers, you’ll understand how important that is!

What’s Included:

  • Indoor performance at Shenaniganz in Rockwall
  • Option for ratings or comments only
  • Experienced adjudicators
  • Post-performance adjudicator review
  • Premium awards for all ratings (no awards ceremony)
  • Outstanding Performance Award
  • Unlimited salad, pizza, pasta, dessert, and drink buffet
  • Unlimited bowling, laser tag, bumper cars, virtual reality, video games, and more


Amazing Price Point

Maybe it’s the mom in me, but I love nothing better than getting a great deal.  At $49 per participant, these festivals deliver a HUGE bang for your bucks!  You get an adjudicated performance with expert feedback, awesome venues, yummy food, and tons of fun… for less than you might pay for dinner out.

5 Best Band Festivals in Texas

3 More Favorites…

There are some other really fantastic festival choices in Texas – it really just depends on your radius for travel.  

SoundPost Music Festival

May 11 and 15, 2023

May 12 and 16, 2023

The SoundPost Music Festival in Canton gives the kids a chance to shine at the Canton ISD Performing Arts Center.  It’s a great opportunity to experience a new venue, followed by some fun in the sun at Splash Kingdom Waterpark.


Bayou City Classic – Houston

Multiple 2023 Spring Dates

The Bayou City Classic in Houston has lots of amazing performance venue options with kid-friendly inclusions as part of the package.  Once the instruments are packed away, students can explore some top Texas attractions like the Space Center Houston or Galveston Pleasure Pier.


Kidz ‘N the Park – San Antonio

May 12 and 13, 2023

May 19 and 20, 2023

The Kidz ‘N the Park Festival in San Antonio is geared toward elementary and middle school programs.  It’s a terrific incentive to keep students interested and motivated in band.  They’ll have the option to perform in top park venues like Sea World and Six Flags, followed by a full day of fun in the park!


5 best band festivals in Texas

Hit the High Notes

If you want to hit the high notes with both students and directors, check out these 5 best band festivals in Texas!  They are outstanding opportunities to build skills, confidence, and memories – and you won’t even need the Tylenol!



Related Reading:  Top 5 International Band Festivals (and A Bonus!)

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