ALICE, Texas — Two-days of music kicked off Friday at La Vision Park just southwest of Alice.
The Conjunto Festival, featuring more than a dozen bands, comes a week after nine people died at the Astroworld Festival in Houston.
“It’s a tragedy," Conjunto Festival organizer Jim Luna said. "And I think a lot of that — it could have been prevented, should have been prevented.”
The deaths and dozens of injuries happened as hundreds of people rushed the stage at the Houston event on November 5.
Luna believes a similar situation won't happen at the Alice event for several reasons.
First and foremost, it's a different type of music for a different type of crowd.
Luna expects his concert-goers will be older and less likely to push towards the bands than those at the Astroworld Festival.
A barrier surrounds the V.I.P. section at La Vision Park, and those inside that section will remained seated during performances.
Most of the people in general admission will also be seated — either in lawn chairs brought from home or on benches scattered around the grounds.
There are also lots of county-provided and private security guards on site.
“I’ve always had more security than not," Luna said. "It’s a way to keep me with a little more peace of mind. It’s always better to have more security than not enough."
A couple who were the first people through the gate Friday don't anticipate trouble, but they still have a plan if something happens.
“We have to make sure we have a quick exit," Daniel Sperry said. "But I don’t see too much of a problem. Usually this type of crowd —“
“Isn’t as rowdy,” Toni Sperry completed her husband's sentence.
Music was set to continue until midnight on the first day of the festival and run from 5 p.m. Saturday until 1 a.m. Sunday.
Admission is free, and Luna hopes you'll put any safety concerns behind you and come to the show.
“This is the biggest Conjunto festival in the State of Texas, I’m telling you,” he said.