BIGfest 2017 – Day 1
Various Artists June 23, 2017
For years, Big John Mills has been using his birthday celebrations to host fundraising concerts for local charities. After moving to Central Texas, John teamed up with Kent Finlay to create BIGfest as a showcase of Texas music and a fundraiser for the Cheatham Street Music Foundation. Other recipients have been selected through the years, and the recipient of BIGfest fundraising for 2018 is School Fuel San Marcos (www.schoolfuelsanmarcos.org).
BIGfest began as a simple one-day showcase during the summer of 2006. The event was a huge success, with more than 40 artists performing throughout the day including the headliners Randy Rogers and Brady Black. The response from both artists and fans was so overwhelming that the festival schedule was broadened to a three-day event.
BIGfest 2007 hosted more than 130 artists over the three-day festival. 2007 also introduced the BIGfest silent auction. Since then, the silent auction has provided one of the biggest contributions to the fundraiser, accounting for 30 to 50% of BIGfest revenue. Auction items often include autographed guitars, artwork, photos, posters, neon signs, artist gift packs, as well as a collection of CDs from all artists playing BIGfest.
Radio Free Texas began broadcasting the festival live in 2007. The Radio Free Texas broadcast has allowed tens of thousands of fans to listen to BIGfest live via the Internet, from all over the world. In 2007 approximately 2500 people tuned into BIGfest. Since 2011, 15,000 to 25,000 listeners tune in each day of the event. Radio Free Texas expects even more listeners this year.
Since 2006, BIGfest has donated over $90,000 to our fund raising activity recipients. Sponsors are the key to the festival’s continued success. Sponsor donations are used to underwrite the entire cost of the event, allowing 100% of the money raised through door donations, BIGfest tshirts and artist’s merchandise, and the silent auction to go directly to the recipient of the fundraising efforts.