Willie Nelson Fans Have All the Luck

An annual get together at the famed country artist's ranch, Luck Reunion is a singular music festival experience.

One of the most recognizable figures in Texas, in country, and the music-loving world at large, the Red Headed Stranger is a beloved icon. It’s safe to say that Willie Nelson could host just about any old group of artists and people would turn up to watch and have a grand time. Which makes it all the more impressive that the folks behind Luck Reunion create such a phenomenal environment with a well-curated lineup of performers each year.

The annual March event will take place on Thursday, March 14, just outside of Austin at Willie’s Luck Ranch, amongst antiquated buildings originally constructed as a movie set for the 1986 Western film, Red Headed Stranger, which stars Nelson. The setting feels borrowed from a bygone era, and the charm of the event it hosts is unparalleled.

Photo by Bryan C. Parker.

This year’s bill features country star Tyler Childers, folk rock band Dawes, and country pop duo Lucius. Part of what makes Luck’s lineups so compelling is how effectively the organizers unite a cohesive set of artists that represent a wide range of genres. There’s also Dallas rock band Toadies, retro soul artist Durand Jones, and Willie’s own children, Lukas (who plays under his own name) and Micah (who plays in the band Particle Kid). Plus, Willie and the Family take the stage for the night’s final performance.

Photo by Bryan C. Parker.

Luck also loves shining a light on artists from right here in Central Texas. This year, Austin musician Walker Lukens gets his own special performance themed around a compilation album he curated and produced supporting Texas state parks called Texas Wild. And Hill Country musician Zella Day will perform, as she continues a career resurgence that has come with a move to the Lone Star State after years in L.A.

As music festivals proliferate, they tend to blur together, with each one feeling like the same offering in a slightly different wrapping paper. But Luck Reunion offers an exceedingly rare and unforgettable experience for attendees. For decades, Willie has been an enduring Texas treasure and cultural ambassador. He’s already given music so much, and he’s managed to create one more piece of his lasting legacy in the form of a gathering that celebrates everything he stands for—great music, good friends, and a hell of a lot of fun.