For its fifth year, Maverick Music Festival has put together a high-caliber lineup of local and national musical acts that will take the stage Friday and Saturday at Maverick Plaza in the heart of La Villita Historic Arts Village.

Festival goers will be able to soak in the indie pop rock anthems of Bastille and Young the Giant, bask in the Latina soul sounds of Carla Morrison, and relive the 90s alongside hip-hop legends De La Soul. Day passes run $59 and weekend passes are $99. All tickets, including those to artist meet-and-greets, can be purchased here.

The festival represents a rare treat for San Antonio music lovers: Not often do they get to consume a weekend full of nationally touring acts in their own backyard. Perhaps the greater gift for San Antonio’s music economy are the benefits local musicians and their soon-to-be fans will reap. The opportunity to take one of the festival’s three stages is a coveted one for local artists, as the post-festival pay off will be measured in the hundreds of new followers, attention of venues and booking agents, and general respect among their music industry peers.

The evolution of San Antonio’s music scene has recently been marked by the emergence of key initiatives like Local Music Week and the SA Music Showcase, as well as festivals such as Mala Luna, which did a solid job in its inaugural year of offering an array of national talent while paying due respect to local artists.

For Maverick, a new partnership with the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, which is handling booking and ticketing, could mean bigger crowds, bigger lineups, and a bigger festival footprint in the coming years. The Tobin’s Senior Director of Marketing and Programming Aaron Zimmerman is on the core organizing and booking team now, and the Tobin is part owner of the festival.

fishermen Credit: Josh Huskin for the San Antonio Report

Local artists fishermen will be the only SA-based band on the main stage, kicking off the festival at 5 p.m. on Friday. On the Arneson Stage, lovers of Latin music can get their fill from Bombasta, dancers can check out the early set of Verisimilitude, rockers can jam out to the equally high-octane Levees (stay tuned for more festival coverage of this group), and glam-sensationalists can take in pop sensation Wayne Holtz.

Various DJs, including KRTU’s JJ Lopez and DJ Catwalk, will keep the energy high at the main and Juarez stages throughout the weekend.

“Maverick has been a catalyst in stimulating more frequent bookings in the indie and alternative genres the past few years at the club level,” said festival founder and co-organizer Blayne Tucker. “It has also given artists an opportunity to work at a professional level, hand in hand with bigger talent.”

The application process each year is open to all local artists.

“There is no single quantifiable factor when determining bands,” Tucker said. “I’m personally most interested in how hard the band works to promote itself.”

While the public often measures artists’ success based on how many hits they have on a given music-sharing medium – which certainly has merit – it doesn’t tell the whole story.

“Promoters and agents can only do so much,” Tucker said. “If an artist doesn’t serve as his or her own best advocate and representative, no one else will.”

This year’s festival features a host of local bands and DJs because it is an integral part of Maverick’s mission, Tucker said.

“The mission of Maverick has been to establish a music festival in the heart of downtown San Antonio that showcases national and international talent who would otherwise not come here,” Tucker said. “This is also balanced by featuring local and regional artists in an environment unique to our community.”

Newcomers to Maverick, Ranch\House‘s sound gives off a vibe that blends subterranean Hill Country bliss and indie rock affectation. The SA-based artists will strut their stuff on the Arneson Stage Saturday from 3:20-4 p.m.

“Ranch\House uses regional music to convey modern thought,” said lead singer and guitarist Brady Dietert, who captures current issues with zest and playfulness. “A few songs touch on the environment – I’m a big earth guy.”

Stephen Brady Dietert of the Ranch\House Band performs his song Magical Day. Photo by Kathryn Boyd-Batstone
Brady Dietert of Ranch\House performs his song “Magical Day.” Credit: Kathryn Boyd-Batstone / San Antonio Report

Despite the river separating the audience from the musicians, the Arneson Stage is known for inspiring a communal feel among festival goers.

The band embodies “the concept of inviting people over to the house,” Dietert said. “The camaraderie of music … that structure of friendships … is my favorite way to work with people.”

Dietert and his fellow band members, high-quality musicians on bass, steel guitar, and drums, look forward to joining the many talented artists in the Maverick lineup and getting to know some of their peers on and off the stage.

“Maverick Fest is a really cool thing for San Antonio, the fact that they support local musicians is incredible,” Dietert said. “Having these showcases brings the community together, it’s a kind of reunion and celebration in downtown SA that makes it more authentic.”

The weather forecast promises a beautiful weekend to celebrate the growing music festival, with plenty of local food vendors and drinks to go around, not to mention the quaint shops and sentimental sweetness of La Villita already built into the festival grounds.

“We certainly have a few surprises this year,” Tucker said. “But next year Maverick will be the official music festival celebration for the Tricentennial – the scope and size will expand in 2018 significantly.”

Maverick organizers teamed up with VIA Metropolitan Transit to help calm traffic and parking issues around the downtown festival. All-day passes for the VIVA lines are only $2.75 and can be purchased on the bus. For more details and maps, click here. Drivers with ride-hailing platforms like Uber, Lyft, Getme, and others will likely be in full force this weekend.

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Adam Tutor

Adam Tutor is a Trinity University graduate, a saxophonist who performs with local bands Soulzzafying, Odie & the Digs, and Volcan, and a freelance music contributor to the Rivard Report.