Culture / Entertainment

The Story Behind Free Press Summer Fest’s Transformation Into a New Music Festival

A Storm is No Longer Brewing

BY // 12.02.17

Free Press Summer Festival is getting a makeover — and a spring in its step. The nearly 10-year-old music fest is getting rebranded as In Bloom Music Festival. “We are excited to announce a new name and a new time of year, while returning to our incredible home, Eleanor Tinsley Park,” founding partner Jagi Katial said in a statement.

The weekend of March 24 and 25, more than 50 musical acts will perform on four stages against the familiar backdrop.

The new festival’s organizers, founders of the original Free Press Summer Fest and Austin City Limits, will announce the lineup later in December. Music lovers can score Pre-Sale Tickets now, gaining two-day General Admission for just $75.

You’ve got to wonder if the newly minted name is a nod to Nirvana’s “In Bloom,” released in 1992 on the album Nevermind. The grunge oldie experienced a resurgence in the early 2000s on Wii’s everywhere, thanks to Guitar Hero. The lyrics “Weather changes moods/Spring is here again” ties in with Free Press Summer Fest’s past hiccups.

“I think it’s a great move to change the timing since it almost always get stormed out or flooded, or it’s just super hot,” says Loah Stevens, a Kentucky native who’s attended FPSF every summer since moving to Houston a few years ago. She’s looking forward to a show that takes the park by storm — without a literal storm, this time.

The shift to In Bloom Music Festival marks the next step in Free Press Summer Fest’s evolution and overall progress. Summer Fest was never quite as big as the major festivals like Lolla in Chicago, ACL in Austin, and ShakyBeats in Atlanta, but it “has similarly great headliners, a variety of genres, and a fun city-central location,” said native Houstonian Clay Nickens.

He’s glad to hear organizers are continuing to improve the festival. “It’s the type of thing every cultural capital needs,” Nickens argues.

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