Top 10 Larry Joe Taylor Festival tips
By Megan Andrews—
Larry Joe Taylor Festival (LJT) is a Texas Country Music Festival held toward the end of April every year at Melody Mountain Ranch in Stephenville, Texas. People from all over the country attend LJT, and it gets pretty wild out there. I’ve gone for the last two years with four-day tickets, and I’ve seen all the do’s and don’ts firsthand. Since I’ll be going for my third time next week, I consider myself a seasoned LJT veteran, and I’d like to give my best advice to first-timers or even for those who wish they would’ve done things differently in the past.
Definitely invest in some water bottles and Gatorade for your cooler. Actually, you should probably start hydrating now. If you don’t want the hassle of carrying around a cooler, I highly recommend a knock-off Camelback to carry around full of water during the week.
- DO NOT wear anything that you care about.
This especially goes for shoes. Don’t be the person who wears their brand new, white, high top Converse or their nice cowboy boots. They WILL get ruined. I suggest going to Payless or Walmart and getting some $5 close-toed shoes that you will dedicate to LJT for as long as they may last. For example, I had to retire mine of two years last year… may they rest in peace.
- Get a fanny pack.
I used to refuse to carry around a fanny pack, but getting one last year was the best idea I ever had. My phone never went missing from my pocket or got rained on, and I never had to worry about losing my money or Chap Stick.
- Never underestimate Texas weather.
This should just be a life rule for Texans to live by. But seriously, bring a small travel bottle of sunscreen and a $0.97 poncho from Walmart and stuff them in your fanny pack as well, because you really just never know.
- Remember, LJT is not a beauty contest.
You will meet the most non-judgmental people in your life out at Melody Mountain Ranch. I promise you, no one cares about your appearance. Your makeup will get smeared, your clothes will get ruined and your hair will end up a mess. Jean shorts (jorts), cut off tank tops, bandannas, cheap sunglasses and beads is where it’s at.
- Bring cash.
There is an ATM near the food trucks and merchandise tent, but it charges you about $3 every time you use it. You may not think that’s a big deal now, but it adds up. Trust me. $3 is equal to half of a corn dog, remember that.
- Try all the food at least once.
Make sure you save your pennies for the food: corn dogs, gator tail, sausage wraps, chicken-on-a-stick, the list goes on. This will be the best $6-$10 you will ever spend. You will crave these foods for the rest of the year. If you absolutely can’t afford the food, make sure you eat a big breakfast and lunch before you get there or pack some Lunchables.
- Be a lover, not a fighter.
If you start a fight, you WILL be escorted out by a security guard. I’ve even witnessed Randy Rogers stop mid-song and yell at a guy for trying to start a fight, and then told him to get out of there. Talk about embarrassing. Don’t be that guy. We’re all just there to have a good time.
- Surround yourself with people you trust.
Use the buddy system everywhere. Keep in mind that there will be 50,000 people from all over the country, and not everyone is as kind-hearted as the people of Stephenville. Friends don’t let friends go anywhere alone at LJT.
- Utilize the free shuttle services sponsored by Larry Joe and the local churches.
Not only is Stephenville PD along every mile of the county road during the week of Larry Joe, but remember, you have people who love and care about you that want you to come home safely. There may be a long wait for the shuttle, but you can take advantage of this time to meet some really great people.
I’ve made some of the greatest memories of my college career at Larry Joe Taylor Festival. I have always been able to have a great time while also being responsible. Students, keep in mind that finals are right around the corner from LJT. Although this is a fun week, remember that school is a top priority, and your Tarleton family wants to see you back in the fall. Also, summer is only two weeks after LJT, and your family and friends back home look forward to seeing you as well. With that being said, please be responsible, take care of yourself, make memories, take tons of photos and have fun.