Larry Joe Taylor’s 31st annual Texas Music Festival is underway at Melody Mountain Ranch.

Beginning Tuesday through Saturday, 70 Texas country music artists including Six Market Blvd, Pat Green, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Deryl Dodd, Jason Eady & Courtney Patton and, of course, Larry Joe Taylor, will perform at the festival.

Today’s festivities will begin with the singing of the national anthem by Larry Joe Taylor, Dave Perez and Deryl Dodd at 5 p.m.

The E-T spoke with Larry Joe Taylor Monday morning as final festival preparations were underway.

One of this year’s additions LJT said he is excited about is a new stage inside of T-Birds Garage Pub.

“We added a stage inside T-Birds to get some of the young guys involved,” LJT said. “One of the new artists I’m excited about is Kolby Cooper. There is a lot of buzz about him and he has some good songs.” 

The event is expected to bring in about 60,000 people. 

To accommodate the large crowd, there will be over 30 food vendors, an ATM, showers and 500 portable restrooms.

And, of course, safety remains the No. 1 concern for the Taylor family. 

“One of the things I am proud of is our ‘Safe LJT’ program,” he said. “Wristbands are given away at the front gate that say ‘If you see something, say something.’ And of course we have a free hotel shuttle that will safely drive concert-goers to and from the festival.”

There will also be dozens of off-duty law enforcement officers and security teams working the event. 

LJT’s first music festival was held in the small Texas town of Mingus back in 1989. 

When asked what’s behind the steady growing popularity of the event that has lasted for more than three decades, LJT said it’s simply the music.  

“It’s the popularity of Texas music. There are a lot more people playing in the state and a lot more people attending concerts in the state,” he said. “There are also a lot of people from California and Florida getting involved and what many people don’t realize is that Kansas is the new frontier for Texas music. They are getting it.”

Advance tickets are available on the LJT website from $85.98 for a five-day pass to $28.98 for a one-day ticket. Tickets purchased at the gate are slightly higher. 

Campsites are also still available. 

A chili cook-off benefiting Morgan Mill First Responders will take place on Saturday. To sign up visit larryjoetaylor.com.

Proceeds from the sale of programs will benefit the American Cancer Society.