Starting this week, the rodeo circuit will begin traveling among the state’s major population centers as well as to smaller towns, like Belton, for quick stops. While many are undoubtedly looking forward to bull riding and steer roping, it’s not the livestock that has the denizens of various cities at odds. Houstonians have been quick to take shots at the San Antonio Rodeo’s musical talent, claiming that Space City’s bookings are far superior. And citizens of the Alamo City have been quick to defend their territory. 

With San Antonio’s slate of artists consisting almost exclusively of country, the two-week event features artists like Wynona Judd, Oak Ridge Boys, and Brooks & Dunn. However, some classic rock bands will make appearances, including Cheap Trick and Styx. It’s clear from the list of artists that San Antonio is courting a bit of a more traditional, country and western audience. But they did have the good sense to book some exciting younger acts, including Midland and Charley Crockett. And they’ve also got a bit of a secret weapon in the return of Robert Earl Keen, who famously said his touring days were behind him in 2022.  

Meanwhile, Houston’s rodeo will feature a diverse array of artists that span genres like hip-hop, rock, electronic, pop, and country. Headliners like Blake Shelton and 50 Cent headline the billing alongside Zac Brown Band and Lainey Wilson. Hats off to Brad Paisley, who managed to get booked for both San Antonio and Houston. The Bayou City also reinvested in its own homegrown icon Bun B, who will perform. (Last year’s event ended in controversy after the rapper’s poncho disappeared, spurring a citywide search.) Jonas Brothers and Nickelback are two of the most surprising bookings, but none are more unexpected than Major Lazer. 

If you see the rodeo as a country and western sort of affair, then it’s certainly reasonable to view San Antonio’s musical offerings more in keeping with that ethos. But if you’re looking for an event that has pulled in something for just about anyone, it’s hard to top the lineup that Houston’s put together. 

Check out graphics with the full lineups below.

 

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